Brussels tells Greece to keep noise down

Noise-plagued Athenians may be able to look forward to some respite after the European Commission warned Greece, and another 10 EU states, to reduce the din in crowded cities. The 11 states, which failed to incorporate European noise pollution laws into national legislation by July 2004, now have two months to draw up maps identifying noise pollution «hot spots» as well as action plans to reduce noise caused by cars, aircraft, machinery and other sources. If they fail to do this, the EC will issue a «reasoned opinion,» the first step before legal action. Aside from Greece, warnings were also sent to Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal and Britain. «The EU’s objective is to substantially reduce the number of people affected by noise by 2012,» European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said. Meanwhile, Greece also came under fire from the EC for failing to adequately handle the disposal of electronic and electrical waste, to assess the environmental impact of plans for land use, road construction and waste management, and to give citizens access to information about the environment.

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