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The municipality, the pollution and the environmental protection

Πηγή εικόνας:

(Image source

We have had to hear from the mayors, by an almost absolute majority of the municipal councillors in question, but also by officials, that the municipality has no responsibility for the pollution, which covers the city as a veil.

They might be seeing the children shrouding in fog, the city to be stinking chemicals, the unstoppable noise pollution day and night, the port to be changing colors, small boats in an effort to “protect” us from the shock that we would be in if we could only see what’s really floating on the sea. They might be seeing that ELKETHE is placing Ermoupoli’s Bay at the top of bays with pollution of sediments with heavy metals and carcinogenic hydrocarbons, they might be seeing that all responsible control authorities do not protect the city, but…

what does the municipality do?

they just look because as they say they have no competence!

Even if they did not have any competence, they would have to move heaven and earth to force those who do have the competence to do their job, to take corrective measures, to impose the penalties provided for, etc. And if those who had to inspect, enforce, protect an entire city do not do their duty, the door of the public prosecutor’s office is located in the same building as the municipality. And if the door of the public prosecutor’s office has no effect, they should go further. The municipality cannot wash their hands of and not be the trail blazer in this serious case.

But it is not true that the municipality has no competence! We have referred to the relevant legislation and found that the municipality is competent and in fact a very important one! How could it be differently…

Law [N. 3463/06 (FEK – 114 Α/8-6-2006) – Article 75 & 77] provides that:

Responsibilities of the municipalities

Municipal authorities manage and regulate all local affairs, in accordance with the principles of subsidiarity and proximity, in order to protect, develop and continuously improve the interests and quality of life of the local community.

The responsibilities of the municipalities include:

  • Combating pollution in their region (point b.2)
  • Monitoring of the Clean Coastal and Clean Seas Programme (point b.8)
  • The care and adoption of measures to protect public health (point c.10)
  • Measures and controls to protect against activities posing a risk to the lives of residents (point c.11)
  • Informing residents about public health (point e.25)
  • In order for the State authorities to adopt any administrative regulation relating to environmental protection (*), they must consult the municipal councils of municipalities in which they are to apply.’

In addition, according to [Law 3852/10 (FEK 87 A/76-2010), Articles 65, 73 & 83]:

Responsibilities of the municipal council”:

  • The municipal council decides on all matters relating to the municipality.
  • The municipal council expresses its views on issues of local interest (we assume that environmental pollution and the dangers against the residents’ health, it is a matter of local interest).

Quality of Life Committee – Competences:

  • The Quality of Life Committee is a decisive and instrumental body for exercising the responsibilities of the municipality with regard to quality of life and environmental protection
  • Recommends to the municipal council for taking decisions on environmental protection matters.
  • The municipal council shall also formulate an opinion and proposals, either on its own initiative or following a referral from the competent municipal bodies, on the protection of the natural and cultural environment, the protection of public health and the protection of residents against noise pollution’.

After these said, we hope that we will never hear again that the municipality does not have any competence!

(*) The procedure for the adoption of the new decision approving the shipyard’s environmental conditions is ongoing. Even if the environmental authority responsible for issuing the decision does not seek the opinion of the municipality, the municipality must submit it. Unless they find what’s going on, nice, reasonable and harmless.


The Management Board