Plan for the Wetlands yet again
[news item March 2008]
The Plan for the Wetlands was designed to implement the
EU Habitats Directive for the Gulf of Kalloni. The first phase of the
Plan, funded by the EU, was presented to the public in 2001 Only minor
action was required to complete it and to protect the wetlands as was
legally required. Seven years later it has still not been completed. In
2003 Friends launched a petition calling for completion of the Plan. This
resulted in a number of people, including elected mayors being fined for
damaging the wetlands but, many fines and innumerable letters to officials
later, the Plan is still incomplete.
The completion of the Plan has been in the hands of the
environmental consultant Cristoforos Mandilas working for the Mayor of
Kalloni. In 2004, accompanied by our lawyer, we visited him and reached an
agreement that he would complete
the plan by the end of the year. He did not keep that agreement as he has
failed to keep to other subsequent undertakings.
We now learn of proposals for Mandilas to produce a new
`watered-down' version of the Plan that will legalise all infilling and
building that has occurred since 2001 but will also permit further
destruction of wetlands that are supposed to be protected. In conjunction
with WWF-Greece and Nautilos we are actively considering taking the matter
to the European Court.