30,000 citizens sign a letter to stop the extraction of hydrocarbons from protected areas of the country. The letter was delivered today to Environment Minister Kostis Hatzidakis by WWF and Greenpeace ahead of the vote on the environmental bill scheduled for tomorrow.
A massive demand of 30,000 citizens of the country to the government: Protect Greece from irreparable environmental damage by stopping the extraction of hydrocarbons from its protected areas.
The signatures were collected in just one week on the initiative of the environmental organizations WWF and Greenpeace and the text that accompanies them was submitted today to the Minister of Environment, Kostis Hatzidakis. The letter was submitted to Parliament on the day of the plenary debate on the bill “Modernization of Environmental Legislation” and in view of its vote, which is scheduled for tomorrow.
The organizations speak of a “bill-order of the oil industry” and of a “climate crime and the storage of our natural wealth and public health”.
“Article 44 of the bill,” the letter said, “for the first time explicitly allows exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons in protected areas of the country.” Article 110, for the first time, deprives the Local Government of its inalienable right to approve or reject heavy, hazardous and polluting hydrocarbon mining facilities within the municipal areas themselves. The natural environment is the best way to shield public health and build on a solid foundation the next day. ”
WWF: Review at least one last minute
“Apart from mining, this bill is profoundly problematic in many respects, as has already been documented by dozens of agencies and organizations. A government that respected the scientists’ positions on the coronaire case now seems to be ignoring them in this crucial bill. We call on her, even at the last minute, to reconsider “, said the general director of WWF Hellas, Dimitris Karavellas, while for his part, the general director of Greenpeace, Nikos Charalambidis, noted:
“The so-called modernization bill of the Ministry is occupied by the outdated perception that the environment is an obstacle and not a guarantee for development and prosperity. The rules for hydrocarbons appear to have been commissioned by the oil industry. We ask the Minister and the deputies to defend the interest of the Greeks and not that of a dirty industry that is slowing down “.
The two organizations have called for a change or withdrawal of many provisions concerning, among other things, “aggravating changes in the Natura area protection regime, housing densities, and even” photographic “individual arrangements. In addition, they report, “a number of serious changes are being made to the environmental licensing system through this bill.”