Cavo Sidero scheme on ice

The Environment Ministry has indicated it is unlikely to approve a controversial plan to build a large holiday complex and golf course on the eastern tip of Crete even though a final decision could take some time. In response to a question from Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) MPs, Environment Minister Tina Birbili said the PASOK government is taking into account a decision last year by the Council of State, Greece highest administrative court, to halt the Cavo Sidero scheme. But she said a final decision would not be reached until the government has reviewed the present zoning plan for tourist resorts. Protesters claim that the project – which would comprise five holiday villages, a string of luxury hotels and three golf courses – would damage the environment and be a heavy drain on water resources. British property developer Minoan Group (formerly Loyalward Limited) insists the 1.2-billion-euro project is environmentally sustainable.