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GreeceBusinessSkertsos: Those who thought they could dupe the state remained closed on...

Skertsos: Those who thought they could dupe the state remained closed on Mykonos this summer

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A key government goal was to make clear the dividing lines between healthy and legal entrepreneurship and a lawlessness that offends everyone and deprives ordinary citizens of the public good of the beach and shore, Minister of State Akis Skertsos said in an interview with the Sunday edition of “Kathimerini”.

He noted that this lack of protection of public space, in both urban and natural environments, was a chronic problem in Greece, while one of the challenges as Greece returned to strong growth will be to control hypertourism and protect the country’s unique natural assets.

Skertsos highlighted the importance of the government’s actions on the island of Mykonos in this regard, pledging to follow them up with similar action in cases where laws were flouted. “Those who thought they could dupe the state were proved wrong and stayed closed in Mykonos this summer. Our aim is not to attack enterprise,” he said.

He also stressed that to allow a “greedy and destructive” occupation of public space and the natural environment would be like “shooting ourselves in the foot”, as Greece’s tourism product depended on its beautiful mountains and beaches.

The minister announced that the government’s goals included a reform of town planning rules, though “there still remains to be won an entire war on urban and spatial planning distortions that have accumulated for decades and we are now seeking to resolve in a few weeks.”

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Skertsos said the chronic lack of protection of public space in Greece was reflected in the way the country legislated and organised the relevant services, adding that on Mykonos it had been necessary to coordinate between seven different ministries and the decentralised local government to get a result.

“This leads to a weak state and clearly acts to benefit those who seek to exploit the bureaucratic “loopholes”… all these gaps have now been identified and will be fixed, however,” the minister added.

He announced that the government was preparing a new system for monitoring unauthorised construction using aerial photography and AI, linked to a system of building permits, in order to immediately locate new buildings erected without planning permission and activate inspection and prosecuting mechanisms.

SOURCE; ANA-MPA

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