NEWS

Illegal landfill fines looming

The debt-ridden government faces the prospect of huge daily fines from Brussels as regional authorities have failed to demolish dozens of makeshift landfills ahead of a European Commission deadline on Friday. Greece has been convicted twice by the European court for failing to meet European targets on waste management and now faces a penalty of hundreds of thousands of euros per day if it fails to destroy around 250 illegal landfills. In a bid to avoid such an eventuality, the Interior and Environment ministries said they are planning a joint initiative to destroy the remaining dumps and replace them with sanitary landfills. Ministry sources told Kathimerini that mayors and regional leaders are reluctant to take action due to local authority elections scheduled for this fall. They said the construction of sanitary landfills is a sore point with local residents whose votes authorities are keen to secure.