The environment ministry backed down on a bill seen as compromising legislation that protects Greek forests and the old Athens quarter of Plaka.
The controversial bill facilitated the declassification of forests and wooded areas and protected areas. The bill deemed that regeneration of forests can be terminated if there have been no successful efforts to reforest within five years. Also, protected zones such as the old neighborhood of Plaka in Athens would be declassified.
The bill was brought to Parliament under emergency procedure this weekend. Environmental groups, including the Greek branch of WWF, and other organizations protested the amendment. There were objections from political forces as well. Administrative Reform Kyriakos Mitsotakis was among the ones viewing the bill with skepticism.
Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis objected to the proposed law regarding protective zoning saying that the commercial development could destroy the traditional color and architecture of Plaka. The quarter is one of the oldest in Greece. Kaminis also said that the municipal authority had not been consulted on the draft.
The bill is scheduled to be tabled in Parliament this week.
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