Eight environmental groups in Greece are expressing their opposition to a shoreline bill tabled in parliament by the Greek Finance Ministry and which is up for discussion this week.

The organizations, which include Greenpeace and WWF Greece, are arguing that the ministry is planning to eliminate an existing 30-meter shoreline use limit potentially allowing construction right on the coast.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, WWF Greece claims that if approved the bill will allow the uncontrolled “commercial exploitation” of the country’s coasts, river and lake beds, and beaches at a particularly crucial time when the climate crisis is imminent.

The environmentalists go on to add that the legislation also lifts a ban on the concession of smaller beaches which would endanger valuable ecosystems.

Among others, the environmental associations are calling on the government to formulate a national climate resilience policy that includes compliance and ratification of the Protocol on Integrated Coastal Zone Management in the Mediterranean, which imposes a 100-meter shoreline use limit; establishing protection and management measures for Natura 2000 protected areas in Greece; banning access to funding for investments that compromise natural habitats and coastal ecosystems; and delegate authority to inspection bodies so they can intervene in cases of violations.

In 2020, Greece was found to be in violation of EU law by the Court of Justice with regard to the protection of its Natura 2000 network under the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC.

According to Economy and Finance Minister Kostis Hatzidakis, the proposed law is aimed at better utilizing public coastlines and beach properties.

Source: tovima.com

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