Greece in EU dock on pollution

The European Commission yesterday said it was referring Greece to the European Court of Justice over the violation of EU environmental law in three cases, including the recent ecological disaster at Lake Koroneia. In the case of Koroneia, near Thessaloniki, where a deadly bacterium killed almost 30,000 birds and hundreds of fish in September, the Commission highlighted the large amounts of water drained away for irrigation and the pollution of the lake as major problems. Both were key factors in last year’s disaster. The Commission criticized Greece for not establishing and implementing a legal protection and conservation framework and not taking measures to prevent the degradation of the lake’s natural and wildlife resources. The second case relates to Greece’s failure to adopt a directive on ozone, requiring countries to alert citizens when the gas reaches certain limits in the air and to consider ways to reduce its levels. Lastly, the Commission reported Greece for not yet enforcing legislation which sets up an emissions trading system among EU members.