How reasonable does it sound to chop off the hand that feeds you? Absurd? Silly? That’s what the Ministry of Tourism is doing by applying the bill for the “Simplification of procedures for supporting Tourism entrepreneurship, EOT’s restructuring and other provisions” that is discussed these days in the Parliament: it destroys nature all over Greece, which undeniably constitutes the main tourism asset of the country!

The main feature of the bill is that it opens the way for massive construction of buildings under the guise of tourism development, reproducing the failed standard of other countries, which was also the main reason for their economic and environmental disaster.

Just some examples of the regulations show the tourism development standard promoted by the Government, which is defying the irreversible consequences not only on the environment, but also, as follows, on the economy and society. The bill:

  • Promotes the over- building in sensitive areas, such as small islands, mountain areas, protected areas and archeological sites.
  • Treats the islands horizontally regarding the plot ratio.
  • Promotes the “organized hosts of tourism activities” and the condo hotels, as a modern form of touristic investment, while this model is outdated, and we all know its consequences. 
  • Allows interventions in sites located within Natura protected areas and archeological sites.
  • Includes “photographic” regulations on tourist ports.
  • Contains provisions limiting state revenues, such as the reduction of the fee for the use of the beach.

In the current extremely serious situation, it is necessary that the action taken for the bailout of the country is not fragmented, but, instead, based on the evidence of its effectiveness. Tourism, thanks to the unique comparative advantages of the country, must be one of the key growth drivers; but, as quality tourism and not as a kind of real estate activity. So, we express our dissent and our strong protest to the bill.
The environmental organizations:
Mediterranean SOS Network
Hellenic Ornithological Society
Elliniki Etairia -Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage
Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature
Society for the Protection of Prespa
Medasset- Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles
Mom- The Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk Seal
WWF Greece

Twelve environmental organizations against the bill of the Ministry of Tourism Pavlos

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