The conservative government took a positive step in withdrawing the amendment that foresaw a delay in plans to knock down illegally constructed buildings in forest areas. It would be an oxymoron, if not a huge embarrassment, if the ruling majority passed legislation that rewarded those who raze our forests right at a time when the prime minister was meeting with former US vice president and environmental activist Al Gore to discuss environmental protection. Costas Karamanlis’s decision echoed the pledge he made yesterday that «when it comes to protecting the environment, there is no room for relaxation.» The problem is that many people think otherwise – most fretfully, the state apparatus of which he is in charge. The truth is that with or without the amendment to suspend demolitions of illegal buildings, the practice continues. State bodies that should be implementing the law tend to violate it. The existing law must be implemented. And that clearly dictates that buildings that have been illegally raised in forest areas (or forests turned to ashes) must come down.