NEWS

Regulating the islands

Development on the Greek islands, the unresolved issue of energy, and the major problem of water shortages top the agenda of the newly appointed minister for the Aegean, Aristotelis Pavlidis. The minister told Kathimerini he would «deal carefully with whatever the previous leadership of the ministry had done after having listened to all those concerned.» Sources say that the law concerning removal of buildings that clash with the aesthetics of the Aegean will come under close scrutiny with the intention of introducing improvements. Implementing the law as it stands would prove problematic, as no provision has been made for securing the considerable funds required. Commenting on presidential decrees governing building regulations on the islands, Pavlidis told Kathimerini: «All that was an attempt, and a justifiable one, to tackle the problem of unrestrained construction in the Aegean. Unfortunately, however, in many cases we went from one extreme to another, so that now building is overly restricted. That is why I asked all those concerned in prefectures, municipalities and hoteliers’ associations to evaluate the problem together and submit their views in writing.» The chief objective of the ministry’s new administration is the economic development of the islands so that young people can find jobs and not leave their place of origin. The ministry hopes to find a golden mean between aesthetic improvement of the landscape and economic development, which entails investment and new jobs.