Athens zoning plan suffers fresh delay

The presentation of a much-delayed government plan to regulate development in Attica has been postponed again due to the change of heads at the Environment Ministry last month, bringing in Giorgos Papaconstantinou from the Finance Ministry to replace Tina Birbili.

The plan is to be made public on July 20, along with a draft law outlining its implementation and a study of the plan?s anticipated impact on the environment. It will subsequently be put up for debate for one or two months before going to Parliament.

Yiannis Polyzos, the head of the Athens Regulatory Plan (ARP), on Monday briefed Papaconstantinou on the main axes of the plan that includes the construction of new highways.

Successive governments have tried to regulate development in the capital in recent decades, with key initiatives in 1970, 1985, 2000 and 2009.

The 2009 scheme, heralded by then Environment and Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias, was widely criticized for failing to curb construction in already overdeveloped areas.