Protecting what’s valuable

The proposal earlier this week by Environment Minister Tina Birbili to prevent anyone owning less than 1 hectare of land from building in areas protected by the European Union’s Natura 2000 program came under fire from many deputies. The MPs, including Socialist deputies as well as members of the conservative opposition, were wrong to criticize the draft law. Greece’s beautiful landscape has been subjected to serious abuse in recent decades, largely because of unchecked and unruly construction and especially on the islands. Time is running out and Birbili’s proposal is one of the few chances we have to save what is still unspoilt. It is understandable that some people may feel constrained by the limitations mandated by the need to protect our environment. On the other hand, the country will only increase its value by protecting what has been spared from the destruction of previous decades.