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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-11-01

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM Karamanlis: Developmental and Environmental polices are 'communicating vessels'

  • [01] PM Karamanlis: Developmental and Environmental polices are 'communicating vessels'

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis on Thursday rejected the "development and environment" quandary as "untimely and invalid", speaking during an off-the-agenda debate in parliament, at party leaders' level, initiated by Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) leader Alekos Alavanos on "Greece's ecology policies", which was also attended by EU environment commissioner Stavros Dimas.

    Karamanlis told the 300-member House that developmental and environmental policies resembled "communicating vessels" and that the prosperity emanating from irresponsibility, desecration of the natural wealth and waste of natural resources was not only ephemeral but also destructive in the long-run.

    "Whatever harms the environment, in the end also harms society and the economy. Whatever benefits the environment, also benefits growth and the quality of our live," the prime minister said.

    Karamanlis said that the essence of environmental responsibility pervaded all the developmental policies of his government, which, he added, had inherited environmental problems that had accumulated over decades.

    Providence for the environment was part of the broader rationale of responsibility on the part of all of us, and this message comprises the criterion of the present government's new developmental policy, which pervaded all the individual policies across the board, the prime minister said.

    "This is the new, non-negotiable element with which we will engraft every business activity, every personal attidue. This is the safest, most optimistic road before us," he said.

    Karamanlis also referred to the common efforts by the European countries for protection of the global climate, and also to the Greek proposal for the establishment of a European Rapid Reaction Force for environmental disasters, which he said had been well-received.

    Referring to areas in Greece facing environmental problems, such as Lake Koronia and the Assopos River, Karamanlis said that strict implementation of the laws and the required interventions "are a commitment that are being made action".

    He added that what the government firmly meant what it has said: "Constant inspections, referring the relevant case files to the prosecutor, serving high fines, which will be collected, discontinuation of activities in business concerns that are repeat offenders, and advancement of the necessary projects".

    Karamanlis further said that supporting the citizens and reconstruction of the areas that were devastated by August's wildfires was a fundamental priority for his government.

    "I made clear, from the very first moment, our decision to designate the forests that were destroyed for reforestation. The Peripheries that have not yet completed the procedure have received instructions to accelerate the relevant decisions. Where there was forest, there will once again be forest," Karamanlis said.

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