The Environment Ministry has announced a two-month extension to the suspension of new construction licenses for tall buildings in the central Athens suburb of Makriyianni, at the foot of the Acropolis.
However, it said that the extension will not be implemented by presidential decree as is usually the case regarding building regulations but through an amendment in the existing law.
The move was frowned upon by the Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage (ELLET), which implicitly accused the government of delay tactics by choosing to introduce the extension of the ban via a legal amendment.
This way, it argues, pending licenses may be granted in the meantime – from the time the suspension ends this month until the extension is actually implemented.
The one-year suspension of building permits and construction activity on buildings of over 17.5 meters high in the Makriyianni-Koukaki area was imposed on March 12, 2019.
It came after complaints brought by ELLET and residents of the area against the construction of two multi-story hotels that were significantly higher than other buildings, taking advantage of a particular provision of the building code.
The Council of State vindicated ELLET and the residents in November 2019. The Environment Ministry had set up a committee of experts in February 2019 to review current building regulations in the area.