New EU court blow on dump

In a decision that carries a nasty whiff of the 2000 Kouroupitos landfill ruling, which cost Athens over 7 million euros in fines, the European Court of Justice yesterday found Greece in breach of EU environmental regulations in the running of a Cretan rubbish dump. Following a suit by the European Commission, the Brussels court decided that the operation of the dump at Pera Galinoi, west of Iraklion, poses a severe threat to the environment and to human health. Should Greece fail to take corrective action, the matter will come to court again and a fine could be levied. The Commission first approached Greece on the matter four years ago, after receiving complaints about the landfill, which is used by the city of Iraklion. The explanations provided by Athens proved unsatisfactory, leading to yesterday’s decision. In July 2000, the European Court fined Greece 20,000 euros for each day an uncontrolled dump at Kouroupitos, near the western town of Hania, continued to operate. This went on for a year.