Last chance on illegal landfills

The European Commission yesterday sent Greece its final written warning – the last step before legal action – over hundreds of illegal landfills that are still in operation across the country despite looming fines that the debt-ridden government would be hard-pressed to pay. According to sources, the EC gave authorities a December 28 deadline to provide it with details about the exact whereabouts of some 750 landfills believed to be operating illegally in Greece. In its letter, the Commission stressed the potential risks to the environment and public safety posed by the unregulated dumping sites and said that two facilities ostensibly set up as sanitary landfills in Attica and Zakynthos are operating as dumps. Five years after Greece received a European Court conviction for violating EU waste management directives, the Commission said it continues to receive complaints about new illegal landfills springing up across the provinces.