Furor in Greece Over Plan Invading Protected Environmental Sites

ATHENS – The New Democracy government’s push to allow development almost anywhere has drawn worry from a bevy of groups that measure will lead to disruptions in protected Natura environmental sites.

A draft law of new regulations for those put to public consultation by the Environment Ministry has riled scientists, environmental organizations and citizens who said it would put human footprints in safeguarded ecosystems.

Almost all of 850 initial comments were opposed to the plan, said Kathimerini, but there was no response from the ministry or government about what it’s aim is, critics wanting the bill withdrawn.

The proposed legislation allows the opening of roads and the construction of energy transmission networks in Natura sites – essentially major human interventions in sensitive ecosystems, noted the paper, which leans toward the government.

With an energy crisis leading to the government seeking sustainable alternatives including wind turbines, the ecosystems could be used for transmission there even if it potentially damages them.

The draft also would allow for tourist facilities in a further nod to private companies that could be enriched and pushes installation of renewable energy sources (RES) in nature protection zones and even mining.

It goes so far as to end almost all restrictions for development in habitat conservation zones effectively opening them to buildersl and treating the land as if isn’t protected, which it wouldn’t be under the law.



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