NEWS

Schinias park lacks protection

Poor supervision of a national seaside park in Schinias, northeast of Athens, has put the natural environment at risk as the relevant authorities have turned a blind eye to businesses and campers taking over the area, according to the park’s management. Kimon Hadzimbiros, head of the park’s administration, told Kathimerini that he had warned the authorities involved – firefighters, police, the Environment Ministry and the Marathon Municipality – with a letter sent to them at the end of last month but added that no action has since been taken. «Unfortunately, the likelihood of destroying the Schinias-Marathon national park remains high because preventive measures are not being put into effect by the authorities that have been appointed this task,» he said. A growing number of illegal businesses operating in the park area are putting at risk the forest due to the operation of potentially dangerous electricity generators and gas cylinders. Other problems caused by the lack of supervision include hundreds of campers setting up their tents or caravans unsupervised while burning campfires. «Preventative steps need to focus on reducing the main threats,» added Hadzimbiros, who is also an associate professor at the National Technical University of Athens. It still remains to be answered why firefighters have not shut down businesses in the forest found to be in breach of the law, added Hadzimbrios without clarifying what the offenses were. Other threats to the park area include massive amounts of rubbish piling up and posing a fire risk.