During the discussion opened in Parliament concerning the new draft law on the environment, Alternate Environment Minister Nikolaos Tagaras said that bill is the middle ground between investment opportunities with new jobs and the protection of natural surroundings.
Mr. Tagaras described the draft bill as “the first serious attempt daring to put things in place so that all these that occurred in a wrong way all these years do not go further,”.
As for the criticism on construction cooperatives, he said that the corresponding regulations were addressed only to those who had valid licences and had not committed any transgressions of building laws and terms and conditions for building were strict.
He said that “We have two options, either we tear down houses and return the land to forest land or we use legal procedures to give a solution to a hermaphroditic landscape.”
Moreover, Mr. Tagaras assured that 50 million euros that are required will be found and all forestland mapping will be completed and published by the end of the year.
However, the main opposition party SYRIZA asked to withdraw the bill and along with other opposition parties accused the government of introducing regulations that had nothing to do with public interest, killing nature and forests and that the bill paves the way for hotel construction even in protected areas “NATURA” sacrificing public interest and individual rights.
Rapporteur of New Democracy, Maximus Synetakis, argued, though, that this bill simplifies the procedures, facilitates citizens, protects woodlands and the environment, transparency is increased and absolute priority is given to operations of large investment projects.