NEWS

Dumps closing at rapid pace

There are still over 400 illegal landfills in Greece, the government admitted yesterday but added that it was ahead of schedule in closing them down as it strives to avoid a massive fine from the European Union. According to figures released by a ministerial committee, there were 2,108 dumps operating illegally last summer. Deputy Interior Minister Athanassios Nakos said that 1,698 of these have now been closed down, leaving 410 still to be tackled. He said these would be dealt with by the end of the year. Nakos added that the government’s target had been to shut down 1,555 landfills by the end of 2008. The government suggested that the rapid rate at which the dumps are being closed means that the EU may not impose the considerable fine with which Greece had been threatened. Brussels had informed Greece last year that it would be fined 34,000 euros per day from the start of 2009 for each illegal landfill that remained open.