COASTAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN SPARKS UPROAR IN GREECE
Last week, the Greek government froze plans to allow development of Greece’s coastline. The proposed bill, which would simplify building permits and allow substantial commercial construction on the country’s beaches, was met with strong opposition from the public; on May 13, the Ministry of Environment received a petition signed by over 110,000 people demanding that the legislation be shelved, and thousands have turned to social media to voice their dissent. Faced with such opposition only a few weeks before European elections, the government announced that it would reconsider the bill. While environmentalists and much of the public have vehemently opposed the legislation, the Ministry of Finance argued that it would open the door for a much-needed economic boost. According to the Ministry, after barely avoiding economic collapse during one of the worst recessions in the country’s history, the potential for economic development that the coastline provides “must be unlocked.” For the full story, see http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/14/activists-petition-greece-coastline and http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/12/us-greece-coast-idUSKBN0DS0ZA20140512.