With incomplete or even misleading data, the Deputy Minister of Environment answered the timely question of the parliament-member of MERA25, Kritonas Arsenis, about the wind work in the Municipal Unit of Kafireas, in a double Natura zone. The projects are at the stage of producer certification, he said - that is, their construction has not started - while in fact for the ten wind farms of the project with 61 wind turbines, the works have started. All permits have been granted. Does not the ministry know this?
The so-called "Adequate Assessment" was made - as explicitly stated in European legislation for projects within Natura zones - and by whom? The opinion in the Decision approving the Environmental Conditions took into account the "element 61", said Mr. Tagaras. However, "item 61" speaks of "a document of the Department of Natural Environment Management of the Directorate of Regional Planning / YPEKA, according to which it gives a negative opinion on the whole project". Adequate assessment means that if there is any doubt about any adverse effects on the natural environment, the project does not even proceed to an environmental study stage. It should be rejected automatically. And the one who has to judge, is, according to the European Commission, an independent agency. Which does not exist in Greece. Because if it did, most projects in Natura zones would have to be rejected. The specific project on Mount Ochi - which the New Democracy government has reduced to a "Strategic Investment" should also have been rejected. Then, why is the project being constructed? That is why the country is being referred back to the European Court of Justice.
And the Municipal Unit of Kafireas in Karystos is in danger of being "choked" by wind turbines: 168% exceeding the bearing capacity of the area is planned by the government and the works have already started. Why did RAE give permission for such an excess? "Borrowed" percentages from neighboring areas, replied Deputy Minister Mr. Tagaras. However, his minister, Mr. Skrekas, has repeatedly said that there is an agreement of the municipal council of Karystos. ".. The mayor stated that there is a decision of the municipal council that explicitly states the opposition of the body to the installation of additional wind turbines". Not another wind turbine says the city council, they agree, says the minister. This is how the project proceeds, with the local community opposed.
You do not keep the distances from the settlement and the provincial road, said Kriton Arsenis. I do not know to answer you in detail, but if it is valid, the licensing will be rejected, was the answer of the Undersecretary - "forgetting" that the licensing has already been provided. But that was the content of the topical question - it was submitted to the ministry to give us specific answers, while the residents' appeal to the Court of Appeals for this very issue is pending. And, how can we know and the ministry does not know that the sub-station is at a distance of 250 meters from the settlement Evangelismos, while the planned is 500 meters? How can the ministry not know that wind turbines are within walking distance of the road that passes as a provincial road through the village of Evangelismos? In other words, cars will pass under the blades of the wind turbine, something that is prohibited for reasons of accident.
The Undersecretary also stated ignorance about the complaint - which he has received - of the Association for the Protection of the Environment of South Karystia for an illegal quarry. He does not know about road openings in the forest, well above the legal width of five meters, he does not know about stream rubble, about the installation of a mobile concrete factory in a stream, he does not know that there is a temporary quarry at "Samari" location.
Government policies threaten a local community, threaten a valuable natural ecosystem, threaten the country with a referral.
The regulations are a given for everyone, said Mr. Tagaras in the parliament, "and the reading is the same for everyone". We do not agree at all - everyone "reads", depending on what interests they serve. However, we agree with the Undersecretary on one of what he said. "One can not hide the illegality." So it is. The illegality in the Municipal Unit of Kafireas will not be hidden.