Greece back to EU Court for waste water, Brussels asked fine

Proposed over 47,000 euros per day until situation is legal

20 November, 14:49

    (ANSAmed) - BRUSSELS, NOVEMBER 20 - The European Commission is referring Greece back to the European Court of Justice for poor treatment of urban waste water, putting human health at risk.

    The EU Commission is therefore asking the EU Court to impose fines, suggesting a lump sum of 11.514.081 euros and a daily penalty payment of 47.462 euros until the obligations are fulfilled. The final amount of the daily penalties will be decided by the Court. The lack of treatment means that the health of residents is being put at risk, as untreated waste water can be contaminated with harmful bacteria and viruses.

    Untreated waste water also contains nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous which can damage the marine environment by promoting excessive growth of algae that chokes off other life.

    Proper waste water treatment is recognised as an important factor in ensuring a thriving tourist industry, a key sector for the Greek economy. Construction works in three agglomerations in eastern Attica, which are co-financed from the EU budget, will not be complete before April 2014 (in Markopoulo), late 2015 (Koropi) and mid-2017 (N. Makri). Construction has begun for a facility in Lefkimmi, Corfu, but two other Attica agglomerations (Artemida and Rafina) have not yet agreed on a location where a facility should be built. Under EU legislation, the last deadline for completing such works was 2005. While fully aware of the difficult situation currently facing Greece, the EU Commission believes that not making this investment now would ultimately entail even higher costs to Greece in the future. (ANSAmed).

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