Improvements in the areas of solid waste management, urban waste water treatment and protection of the natural environment are currently under review by the European Commission for a report to be published in 2019, concerning which Spain and Greece have registered the most infringements of Community environmental legislation.
Greece has been cited for a total of 24 violations and fined over 100 million euros from 2014 to date.
Brussels presented the following data for Greece in particular:
– In the field of solid waste management, progress has been made in establishing a strategic framework at national and regional level, managing hazardous waste and reducing the number of illegal landfills. Landfills are the main reason why Greece is fined often, as there are still 57 landfills operating or under restoration.
– In the field of urban wastewater treatment, strategic plans have been drawn up by each region, with technical assistance from the EU. However, Greece has been fined for lack of biological treatment in Eastern Attica and Thriasio.
– And in the protection of the natural environment, progress includes the adoption of Law 4519/2018 on the management of the Natura Protected Areas, the Life IP 4 Natura project on the natural environment and biodiversity, and the significant expansion of the network Natura 2000 in marine areas.
Greece has high performance rates in swimming water quality (97.2% in outstanding quality, 2015 data) and compliance rates for microbiological and chemical parameters for drinking water (99-100%). On the other hand, air quality in Greece continues to be worrying, especially nitrogen dioxide pollution and microparticles.