Law fails to protect Hymettus

Environment and Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias admitted yesterday that a law passed in 1978 to protect Mount Hymettus, northeast of Athens, from rampant construction is full of loopholes. Souflias also indicated that the home of former Employment Minister Vassilis Magginas in Koropi, in the foothills of Hymettus, was indeed built without a proper permit. The minister said that a search of the town-planning records had revealed that a building permit was issue in 1997 in the name of Magginas’s wife. However, the license only allowed for the construction of a single-story snack bar, not a large house and swimming pool. Magginas stepped down on Saturday after details about his home were made public but he insisted that the property was perfectly legal. «We have to limit or stop these loopholes,» said Souflias, who has ordered a review of the existing law. The minister dodged questions about whether he thinks that Magginas’s home should be knocked down.