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Greece will pay high price for the illegal landfills

29 October 2010 / 08:10:43  GRReporter
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Five years the Greek governments have ignored the European Court of Justice ruling to close down and rehabilitate illegal landfills in the country. On the national holiday of Greece, the Commissioner for Environment Janez Potocnik sent another letter, warning hat the Commission will impose financial penalties unless immediate measures are taken.

Illegal landfills across the country exceed 700 in number and violate the European Union legislation. Local authorities had not taken any measures for 316 landfills and they are still operating despite the ban. Other 429 were funded by the state and the European Union to introduce a modern system of waste management but this has not been implemented and they also operate in violation of European standards. The ruling for illegal landfills close-down or rehabilitation dates back to 2005.

According to initial plan, Greece should have been closed down and rehabilitated illegal landfills in the country by the end of 2008. After the Commission representatives inspection it became clear that local government has not made significant changes and it was decided in the summer of this year a backdate fine to be imposed. The May, 2010 publication of the Greek edition Vima reads that the fine had to reach 34,000 euros a day and the date of the violation is considered to be January 1, 2009. They decided in Brussels to give additional grace period until September due to the difficult economic situation, however. November is coming but the problem remains. The formal notice of the European Commission stated that if the Greek authorities do not take immediately measures to solve the problem of illegal landfills it will be forced to impose financial penalties, although the country is funded almost entirely by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Tags: SocietyNewsLandfills
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