Illegal activity on Mykonos under scrutiny

Illegal activity on Mykonos under scrutiny

A team of inspectors dispatched to Mykonos to investigate allegations of widespread zoning and building violations returned to Athens on Wednesday and is expected to start drafting the report with its findings.

Kathimerini understands that the team, tasked with inspecting beach bars, bars and restaurants on the popular Cycladic island, comprised eight environmental and building inspectors and three zoning staff from the Environment Ministry. It also included four police officers specializing in economic crimes and extortion.

The environmental inspectors are expected to file a first inspection report, on the basis of which the property owners, or those who have leased the property to set up a business, will be called to state their arguments. Another inspection report will detail the building code and environmental report. This latter report will also detail the fines for violating the building code and environmental protection regulations.

The law mandates that the local police precinct is immediately informed of the report and promptly suspends building or business activity. Those affected by the ban can lodge an appeal regarding the legality of the building, the fees imposed or both. The appeal is considered by a local planning disputes council.

In reality, the process of issuing penalties and addressing any appeals can drag on for months, if not years.

Under new legislation, environmental inspectors can be given broader powers to carry out checks that would previously have fallen under the purview of the woefully understaffed Zoning Department in the Cycladic capital of Syros.

Business owners have had the option, since 2017, of merely informing the municipality that they have started operating; the municipality, for its part, would do sample inspections, supposedly covering 30% of the businesses. The original intent was to cut down on the previously stifling red tape.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.