Bulldozers in the forest

Pre-election measures to sacrifice forests for private developments

A draft law put up for public consultation upends protections on forested areas
Major changes in building regulations for islands, building cooperatives etc

Forests, islands and villages with up to 150 residents are being handed to ambitious developers through building cooperatives and mainly through private urban developments to be built up with higher building coefficients than in existing legislation.

The measures are included in a draft law put up for public consultation yesterday by the Environment Ministry while another draft law is in the pipeline that will completely upend the legal protections on the country’s forests. Other amendments also change the regulations that apply in ‘expensive’ areas of Athens that will allow large malls to be built.


Foreign companies invited to exploit Greek oil

Encouraging seismic data from the Norwegian PGS research vessel in the Ionian shows indications of exploitable fields

The first analysis of the seismic data show “encouraging geological structures”. Deputy Environment Minister Giannis Maniatis issued an open invitation to foreign investors. 


Troika auditors

Karas provokes outrage, receives fire from SYRIZA

The two MEPs leading the inquiry into the role of the troika provoked the intense outrage of SYRIZA when they told parliament yesterday that they had asked Alexis Tsipras to submit proposals but that he did not have any. 


Justice Delayed

The large delays in the court system have huge financial as well as social costs. In the four years of the financial crisis, the state has lost roughly 7 billion euros due to its inability to try outstanding cases involving taxes and fines, while throughout the country the number of cases that are outstanding surpasses one million.

That is one side of the coin. The other involves the release of prisoners after the 18-month period an alleged criminal can be kept in prison pending trial is exhausted, even when they are accused of terrorism – as in the cases of Nikos Maziotis and Polas Roupas. And the situation appears to be worsening.

As the president of the Judges and Public Prosecutors Union, Vasiliki Thanou, told a parliamentary committee yesterday, “in the next judicial year, due to the workload at the Court of Appeals, the 18-month pre-trial imprisonment periods will begin to be exhausted,” she said, highlighting terrorism cases and the cases involving Golden Dawn Party members.




Business is booming for bodyguards – up 30%

Personal protection for the wealthy is becoming a major growth industry with demand spiking by 30% after the recent spate of kidnappings.