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12 Environmental Organizations against the draft law of the Ministry of Tourism

How sensible is it to cut off the hand that feeds you? Stupid? Illogical? That is exactly what the Ministry of Tourism is doing with the draft law "Simplification of procedures for the strengthening of tourist entrepreneurship, restructuring of the Greek National Tourism Organisation and other provisions", which is being discussed at the moment in Parliament: it destroys the natural environment over the whole of Greece which constitutes by common admission the country’s main tourist advantage.

The main characteristic of the draft is that it opens the road for the mass construction of residences on the excuse of tourist development, reproducing the failed model of other countries, a model which also constituted the basic cause of economic and environmental collapse.

Just a few examples of the provisions indicate the sort of tourist development the Government is promoting, ignoring the consequences not just for the environment but also for the economy and society:

- It promotes the over-building of sensitive regions such as small islands, mountain areas, protected areas and archaeological sites.

- Treats the islands with ‘horizontal’ uniformity  in respect of the building coefficient.

- Promotes the ‘organised tourist activity facilities’ and co-ownership hotels as a modern form of tourist investment, while this model is out-dated, with known consequences.

- Permits interventions in areas which are within the Natura protected areas and archaeological sites.

- Includes ‘photographic’ regulations about tourist ports.

- Contains provisions which limit state revenue, including the characteristic example of the reduction of the charges for the use of the seashore.

It is essential that at this crucial time measures taken for the country’s economic salvation should not be spasmodic, but on the contrary based on proper evidence of their effectiveness. Tourism, thanks to the country’s unique comparative advantages, should be one of the main growth strategies. But as quality tourism and not as a sort of real estate activity.

For this reason we protest vigorously and express our total disagreement with the draft law.

The Environmental Organisations



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 the Prespa Lakes


Medasset –The Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtle

MOM – Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Mediterranean Seal


WWF Hellas
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