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thanks for the diary. there seems to be a europe wide issue about the designations of forest land and development which are just a great big invitation to the unscrupulous to start fires.

I bet these people will come out the biggest winners of this situation too.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Sep 5th, 2007 at 08:08:19 AM EST
I'm being dense this morning...how does this work? "Oh look a fire came through, it's not a forest anymore, so give me a permit to build houses?"

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Sep 5th, 2007 at 02:12:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's almost like that: Build a house illegally. Wait. Find (shady) ways to get electricity and water to your house. On a pre-election year some sort of amnesty will be given, the definition of what a forest is redefined for your area legally, local government will certify that your land had "prior farm use" and presto, you pay a fine and you are legal. Add to that the sorry state of land registration in Greece (there is no forest registry and no forest maps for the country) and the fact that the Conservative government tried to amend the constitution to narrow down the protection that the constitution grants to forests (which the European Parliament a couple of days ago called to be withdrawn) and the "uncertain" ownership status of large areas of forested land and you get some idea... I don't think there is anything quite like it elsewhere in the EU.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed Sep 5th, 2007 at 09:29:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Note that the protected area of the Kaiafa lake and forest, was the target of several tourist "development" schemes (with golf courses and all), which thankfully local movements and the courts denied (especially the Higher Administrative Court has been steadfast in its defense of the environment whenever it has had a chance to decide such matters - that's one of the reasons that the government proposed a constitutional amendment to limit its jurisdiction this year). These plans and the proximity of Greece's planned Western Highway Axis to the first blazes in Ilia, cause not a few to believe that the initial fire was arson, pure and simple.

In the area around Athens, there is no question that the vast majority of the major fires these past 30 years have been arson attacks. All three mountains surrounding the Athens basin were severely burned this year. In almost all cases there is strong evidence suggesting that it was arson.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed Sep 5th, 2007 at 09:39:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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