PASOK MP: PM himself ordered tabling of draft amendment to suspend demolition of illegal structures

8 August 2018
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A former PASOK minister and current MP this week charged that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras himself ordered the tabling of a draft amendment in Parliament, back in November 2015, to suspend the demolition of several categories of illegally built structures around, even when all legal remedies had been exhausted by owners and occupants.

Deputy Yannis Maniatis posted the text of the draft amendment, the minutes of a relevant Parliament debate and other documents on his personal Facebook account, as a firestorm of criticism continues to bedevil the leftist-rightist coalition government in the wake of last month’s deadly wildfire in coastal eastern Attica prefecture. The blaze, which swept through the pine-covered Mati resort settlement, left more than 90 dead.

The foundering Tsipras coalition government has ascribed a portion of the blame for the July 2018 catastrophe on illegal building and haphazard land development at the site, a problem that plagues countless other areas outside town planning and zoning boundaries in Greece, particularly in coastal regions.

“In November 2015, by order of A. Tsipras to (ministers) P. Kouroumblis and I. Tsironis, an amendment was tabled to suspend demolitions. After our intervention, and again on orders … (by Tsipras), it (draft amendment) was withdrawn and re-submitted in another draft bill,” the former minister charged, mentioning another two ministers in the Cabinet at the time.

Giannis Tsironis, in fact, who Maniatis alludes to, is a founding and prominent member of a tiny ecologists green political party in the country, whose leadership opted to cooperate with radical leftist SYRIZA prior to the snap January 2015 election.

Kouroumblis today is the shipping and island policy minister.

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