NEWS

Poor air quality in capital lands Greece in ECJ dock

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Greece will appear before the European Court of Justice this year for failing to reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions in Athens, which for a decade now have exceeded permissible limits.

A similar fate awaits the northern port city of Thessaloniki over the level of suspended micro-particles in its atmosphere.

The European court Friday said the case will go to trial at some point this year. Greece’s referral was announced last October as, according to the ECJ, it has continually and persistently exceeded the annual NO2 limit value in Athens. It has also failed to adopt appropriate measures “to keep the exceedance period as short as possible.”

The Commission concluded that based on Greece’s annual air quality reports for the period 2010-2020, an effective air quality plan had not been drawn. Tellingly, Greece submitted its reports on air quality for 2015-2016 in the spring of 2021.