Greece slapped with new EU fine for lax waste management


The European Court of Justice on Thursday imposed a 10-million-euro fine on Greece for violating European regulations regarding the management of urban wastewater, noting that the country has failed to enforce an eight-year-old ruling ordering it to “adequately treat and dispose of urban wastewater.”

The ruling relates to substandard wastewater disposal systems in six areas: Lefkimmi on Corfu, and Markopoulo, Koropi, Nea Makri, Rafina and Artemida, all in eastern Attica.

According to European regulations, the fine will increase by 3.64 million euros for every six months it remains unpaid.

However, in its ruling the court noted that it would take into account the fact that Greece is unwilling to pay the full amount due to the contraction of its economy over the years.

According to sources, the portion of the fine relating to Lefkimmi is expected to be reduced as improvements to the local waste disposal system have been made over the past two years. Greek authorities aim to convince EU officials that significant steps have been taken in Markopoulo too. In Koropi works are still under way, in Nea Makri they have received the green light but are yet to begin, while in Rafina and Artemida local authorities continue to oppose the creation of irrigation networks and waste management facilities.