State environmental inspectors will be demoted to an advisory capacity, according to a controversial bill prepared by Greece’s Environment Ministry. This means that inspectors will no longer be able to impose fines on violators of environment guidelines.
Fines will be imposed only in very serious violations and after taking into account various factors unrelated to the case.
The ministry says the proposed changes are part of efforts to “modernize” the legislation but has not provided more details about the motives behind its decision.
In a further blow to the status of the existing agency, the ministry plans to hire private inspectors tasked with conducting the checks.
The department currently consists of just over 20 experts who are responsible for inspecting whether public and private agencies and companies in the areas of construction, energy, mining and environment are in compliance with regulations.