CrisisWatch

Biodiversity & natural resources

1,500,000 EU citizens win battle against privatisation of water

Achieving the support of almost 1,500,000 EU citizens, campaign platform “Water is a human right” (right2water.eu) achieved a remarkable feat: Commissioner Michel Barmier for Internal Markets and Services announced that the EC will exclude water services from its Concessions Directive. “I fully understand why citizens are both angry and upset when they are told their water services might be privatised against their will. I would feel the s...
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Greece wastes public money on unsustainable river diversion

A recent Government decision approving an additional €500,000 for more studies on the River Acheloos diversion to the plain of Thessaly has been heavily criticised as an outrageous waste of public money, especially in these hard times of austerity. This decision is part of a €500 million expenditure line titled “Ε064-Acheloos Diversion”, which is still included in the National Budget and is managed by the Ministry of Development....
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Violence continues over gold mining in N. Greece

A new round of violent clashes between anti-gold protesters and police forces over the gold mining investment at Skouries, Chalkidiki, leaves between 2 and 7 policemen (accounts vary) and one protester injured. Three protesters were detained, on charges of resistance to and assault against the Police forces.  According to Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias, who visited the area in the aftermath of a February 20th arson attack against infrastru...
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EC’s Task Force for Greece promotes legalisation of illegal land uses

According to a draft report from the European Commission’s Task Force for Greece (TFGR), Greece is strongly advised to proceed with sweeping legalisation of illegal buildings and land uses, regardless of how these were created and their environmental impact. The document, which summarises the views expressed by the TFGR in a technical meeting with the services of the Cadastre, was described in media reports as support to the Government’s pol...
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Turkey drafts “biodiversity law” that threatens nature

Undermining nature conservation legislation in times of a global crisis is contagious even to countries that remain unaffected by the economic downturn.  The draft law on biodiversity conservation which was prepared by the Turkish Government in 2003 within the context of a GEF supported project, recently re-surfaced. However, the new version of the “Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Law” is far from the aim its title declares. In fact, t...
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Bee death crisis struggles for political solution in the EU

The European Commission’s proposal for a two-year suspension on neonicotinoid insecticides reached no qualified majority during the March 15th vote at a Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health : despite the fact that 13 member states voted in favour, 9 voted against and 5 abstained.  According to the European Food and Safety Authority, which in January 2013 concluded a project to assess bee surveillance systems in the EU and to...
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