OPINION

Impunity in Glyfada

A blatant breach of the law has been committed for the last eight years along the Glyfada waterfront, on a piece of land that was created by earthworks at the time of the military dictatorship. This infringement, however, has not yet provoked any decisive reaction from the responsible authorities. The authorities never even granted a permit for the operation of a canteen – which is the only use permitted by the law – to Palmeras SA, which hired this stretch of land from the public real estate company back in 1994. The tenant, however, went on to build an illegal nightclub, which has operated in the area for the last seven years. The company has recently grown so insolent as to build and operate five nightclubs in the area. Music is blaring until the morning hours, while the place is packed by hundreds of vehicles and fun-seekers, making life intolerable for the local residents. In a rather mysterious way, however, the residents’ reports, requests and lawsuits have failed to curb the spree of lawlessness and restore legal order. Faceless protection rackets have no trouble blocking the implementation of the decisions issued by the town-planning authorities of the Glyfada municipality, which call for the demolition of the blatantly illegal complex of nightclubs. The arbitrariness, and the extended period during which it has been tolerated, make it imperative for the responsible authorities to investigate the situation in order to check whether it is a product of disregard and omission by the authorities, or of intertwined interests between the wrongdoers and several public officials. The underworld tends to get involved in obscure business activities, so the authorities must investigate the event of political corruption. The indecisiveness, at best, shown by the responsible officials in dealing with this issue raises justifiable suspicions given the amount of money at stake. The municipality, the public real estate company, the town-planning authorities, the police, and perhaps other authorities are all involved in this situation. They must prove with concrete action that the ongoing humiliation of the State and of legality itself in Glyfada is an unfortunate event of omission and impasse rather than a conscious stance.