Amidst the frenzy to comply with the demand of the Troika (EC, IMF, ECB) for a drastic reduction in the number of public entities, the Greek Government announced its intention to abolish 15 out of the 29 protected area local management agencies.
Protected area management agencies are almost entirely funded by the EU or through the Regional Development Programmes (75% co-funded by the EU). Despite the fact that negligible national funding has been allocated to the protected areas system, the Government widely publicised its intention to reduce the number of protected area management entities as an important step towards seriously reducing public spending.
The role of management agencies is crucial in the facilitation of dialogue with stakeholders and the pursuit of the good conservation status of important national parks, such as Mount Olympus and the National Marine Park of Zakynthos.
Sources: 9 Green NGOs (in Greek)