Greece could face €15.9m EU fine for “poor” wastewater treatment

Nov. 19, 2015
Over 11 years have passed since Greece violated EU law for a lack of wastewater treatment but the European nation has once again been scorned for inadequate infrastructure...

Over 11 years have passed since Greece violated EU law for not treating wastewater but the European nation has once again been scorned for inadequate infrastructure.

It was in 2004 when the EU Court of Justice ruled that Greecewas violating EU law by not adequately collecting and treating wastewater discharged into the Gulf of Elefsina.

The European Commission (EC) has said this week that despite some progress, only 28% of urban wastewater is collected and treated before discharged.

A lack of treatment systems in the area of Thriasio Pedio “poses risks to human health, to inland waters and the marine environment, the EC said.

Although a new wastewater treatment plant started operation in 2012 in the area, the collection rate has not improved.

Under the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive, Member States are required to ensure that towns, cities and settlements properly collect and treat their urban wastewater.

Proper wastewater treatment is an important factor in ensuring a thriving tourist industry, which is a key sector for the struggling Greek economy.

As a result of the violation, the EC will be referring the case back to the Court of Justice of the EU.

Greece could face a fine of €15.9 million euros, as well as a daily fine of €34,974 until it complies with EU law.


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About the Author

Tom Freyberg

Tom Freyberg is an experienced environmental journalist, having worked across a variety of business-to-business titles. Since joining Pennwell in 2010, he has been influential in developing international partnerships for the water brand and has overseen digital developments, including 360 degree video case studies. He has interviewed high level figures, including NYSE CEO’s and Environmental Ministers. A known figure in the global water industry, Tom has chaired and spoken at conferences around the world, from Helsinki, to London and Singapore. An English graduate from Exeter University, Tom completed his PMA journalism training in London.

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