New plan in February 2006

In May of 2005, the Environment and Public Works Ministry announced a fifth attempt to create a national zoning plan. This time it will be done via a competition, announced over the summer. The plan is expected to be ready in February of 2006, and to be instituted in May. Also, tenders for three special zoning plans have been announced – on renewable energy sources, industry and tourism. These have been assigned and should be ready by February. The ministry has announced that it is going ahead with zoning plans for coastal and mountain regions, begun at the end of the 1990s, although no deadline has been set. «The biggest danger for the zoning plans being drawn up now is that they might be on the level of wishful thinking,» said Yiannakourou. «They must provide sufficient, clear directions.» «We have our reservations about the plans being designed, because we believe the opinion of the National Zoning Council – which is currently inactive – should have been sought before the tenders were called,» said Beriatos. Meanwhile, there has been much academic debate about the need for a national zoning plan. «In Europe, general planning is being abandoned in favor of special and regional plans,» said Economou. «Of course, the difference is that in other countries there was a pre-existing national plan, unlike in Greece.» «I am a great believer in regional and special zoning plans, although there should also be a general framework,» said Deputy Environment Minister Stavros Kaloyiannis. «The general directions are the main focus – what we should beware of, what we should preserve, what our strategy should be. It is high time we worked out a strategy and talked later about its usefulness.»