NEWS

Greece in court for pollution

For the third time in a week, the European Commission yesterday took legal action against Greece for violations of European Union environmental regulations. Last Thursday, it was for illegal waste disposal in eastern Attica. On Monday, it was for failing to adequately protect important wetlands – the Mesolongi lagoon and Lake Koroneia – and a rare species of viper living in the Cyclades. Yesterday, the Commission said it was taking Greece to court for not incorporating EU regulations on air pollution in its legislation. Athens should have passed laws by the end of 2002 on waste incineration, reducing benzene and carbon monoxide emissions, establishing ceilings for emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds and ammonia, and slashing pollution from thermoelectric power plants. Furthermore, the government has been sent a final warning for doing nothing to curtail emissions of greenhouse gases. The Commission decided yesterday to take action against another eight EU members for air pollution.