Developers raid Mount Parnassus for luxury homes

Mount Parnassus is falling prey to real estate development that is turning it into a resort town, something like winter version of the popular Cycladic island of Myconos. A walk on the beautiful mountain reveals feverish construction activity proceeding without any kind of planning, control, oversight or infrastructure, and with disastrous effects on the environment. Loopholes in the legislation are being exploited to build extensively in forest areas. Public services merely observe, frequently issuing permits even for some activities that are illegal. Hundreds of maisonettes – entire villages – are being built on Parnassus at the cost of felled trees, wasted water and heaps of garbage. State forests and the environment are being sacrificed for shortsighted profiteering, the area’s residents say. «At night we heard the sound of trees being felled. Bulldozers went into some places that were turned into fields,» reports an angry resident of Parnassus. «We saw with our own eyes the marks left by the bulldozers’ tracks in some clearings in the forest. The felled trees disappeared and the stumps were covered with soil to conceal any trace of the crime.» Another resident complains that the situation is «out of control. The streams are drying up; in summer we have water shortages on a mountain that is supposed to have lots of water.»