Athens, 5 September 2014: Commissioners Damanaki and Potocnik jointly responded on behalf of the President of the European Commission Manuel Barroso, to MEDASSET’s call for an intervention regarding the Greek draft law for coastal areas that was proposed in May 2014.
In its letter, MEDASSET urged the European Commission to ensure that any new Greek legislation complies with protocols set out by the EC in order to not undermine sustainable use of Greece’s seas and coasts, as encouraged by the draft law. In its response, the European Commission states that it expects the Greek government to conform to the Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity and the Protocol on Integrated Coastal Zone Management and highlighted that the Greek Economic Adjustment Programme (Memorandum) does not promote land use reforms and economic development in environmentally sensitive coastal areas.
Due to nationwide outcry, only part of the draft law was submitted to the Greek Parliament. On 13 August 2014, a new coastal zoning system was passed, which is heavily criticised by the scientific and conservation communities because of its lack of scientific and environmental considerations. Specifically, it provides loopholes to owners of illegal properties to adjust the boundaries of the coastal zone at their convenience, hence narrowing the setback zone where constructions are not permitted.
The EC’s letter is available here and MEDASSET’s letter here.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Ms. Liza Boura, MEDASSET. Tel: (+ 30)-210-3613572. Email: medasset [at] medasset.org