Greece ends EU waste dispute after 5 mln euro fine
BRUSSELS - The European Commission said yesterday it had stopped fining Greece for running an illegal waste dump but not before the government had paid 5.4 million euros ($4.73 million) in penalties.
Greece made European Union legal history in July 2000 when it became the first EU country to be fined by the European Court of Justice for ignoring an environmental directive.
The court imposed a 20,000 euro a day fine on the Greek government when it failed to comply with an earlier ruling to shut down a waste dump in Kouroupitos on the island of Crete.
The Commission said it had decided to lift the daily fine after the dump, in a deep gorge, was closed earlier this year.
"I am satisfied that the illegal dumping has been stopped by the Greek authorities, but there is still a big clean-up job to be done," EU Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom said in a statement.
The dump had been used for household, and industrial waste including some hazardous materials like waste oils and batteries. The Commission said there were plans to build a more modern waste treatment unit for the area.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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