Fines loom as dead­line for land­fills ap­proaches

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Greek au­thor­i­ties have less than two weeks to close down dozens of il­le­gal land­fills or face large fines as the Euro­pean Court is set to an­nounce the size of the to­tal penalty for Greece’s flout­ing of Euro­pean waste man­age­ment laws on De­cem­ber 2.

Ac­cord­ing to the pros­e­cu­tor’s pro­posal, Greece must pay a 22-mil­lion-euro lump sum and an ad­di­tional 54,450 euros for ev­ery day it fails to shut down il­le­gal land­fills. With this warn­ing in mind, the En­vi­ron­ment Min­istry has been scram­bling to limit the po­ten­tial fall­out, clos­ing some sites but chiefly trans­fer­ring trash to re­gions with bet­ter waste fa­cil­i­ties.

Greece was first con­victed for violating Euro­pean waste man­age­ment laws in 2005 when the coun­try had some 1,125 il­le­gal land­fills. The num­ber of il­le­gal sites has been dras­ti­cally re­duced since then but it was threat­ened again last June over a re­main­ing 70 ac­tive land­fills and another 223 dump sites that have been closed but not yet re­placed with san­i­tary sites.

The lat­est data from the min­istry sug­gest progress has been made since then, with the num­ber of il­le­gal land­fills down to 49 – 18 in the Pelo­pon­nese, 16 in the Cy­clades and Dode­canese, four in the north­ern Aegean, four in Ilia and the rest else­where. How­ever au­thor­i­ties must still re­place dozens of closed land­fills with san­i­tary al­ter­na­tives.

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