EC to take Greece back to court over dumps

De­spite progress in clos­ing land­fills, gov’t still vi­o­lat­ing laws, faces fines

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion said yes­ter­day it is tak­ing Greece back to court for fail­ing to close down dozens of il­le­gal land­fills and that it will im­pose a fine of 71,193 eu­ros for each day that the debt-wracked coun­try fails to com­ply with the judg­ment.

The move by the EC came eight years af­ter the Stras­bourg-based court con­victed Greece for fail­ing to stop the op­er­a­tion of hun­dreds of il­le­gal land­fills. Since then, the EC noted in a state­ment, Greece has made progress by clos­ing many il­le­gal sites and im­prov­ing waste man­age­ment sys­tems in many ar­eas. Still, 78 il­le­gal land­fills con­tinue to op­er­ate and an­other 318 are be­ing “re­ha­bil­i­tated.” The Com­mis­sion also ex­pressed con­cern about the Fyli land­fill in north­west­ern At­tica, which re­ceives 90 per­cent of the cap­i­tal’s waste, not­ing that the dump is “reach­ing im­mi­nent sat­u­ra­tion and will have reached full ca­pac­ity by the end of 2014.”

The sec­ond court rul­ing is un­likely to be is­sued be­fore the end of next year, mean­ing that Greece will have un­til then to com­ply with EU reg­u­la­tions. Oth­er­wise it will be obliged to pay a lump sum of 25-30 mil­lion eu­ros – the ac­cu­mu­la­tion of daily fines of 7,786 eu­ros be­tween the first rul­ing in 2005 and the sec­ond rul­ing. The daily fine will in­crease to 71,193 eu­ros if Greece fails to com­ply with EU rules af­ter the sec­ond rul­ing.

An EC spokesman told Kathimerini that Greece could cre­ate 16,000 jobs through through proper waste man­age­ment.

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