Government Aims to Crack Down on Illegal Entrepreneurship and Protect Greece's Beautiful Natural Assets

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The key government goal of Rewire is to establish clear boundaries between legal entrepreneurship and illegal activities that encroach on public space, according to Minister of State Akis Skertsos.

Skertsos emphasized that the lack of protection of public space, both in cities and natural areas, has been a long-standing issue in Greece. As the country seeks to promote strong growth, controlling overtourism and protecting its unique natural resources will be challenging but necessary tasks.

Skertsos specifically highlighted the government's actions on the island of Mykonos as an example of their commitment to addressing this issue. He stated that those who attempted to deceive the government by flouting laws were proven wrong and faced consequences, leading to some closures on Mykonos this summer. Skertsos clarified that the government's goal is not to attack enterprise but to prevent the greedy and destructive occupation of public spaces and natural environments. He emphasized that Greece's tourism industry relies on its beautiful mountains and beaches, so allowing their degradation would be detrimental.

The minister also announced plans to reform town planning regulations, aiming to resolve long-standing issues in a short time frame. Skertsos acknowledged that the chronic lack of protection for public space is reflected in Greece's legislation and organization of relevant services. On Mykonos, coordination was necessary between seven different ministries and the local government to achieve results. Skertsos recognized that these bureaucratic loopholes have been identified and will be addressed.

To improve monitoring of unauthorized construction, the government is developing a new system that utilizes aerial photography and artificial intelligence. This system will be linked to the issuance of building permits, allowing for the immediate detection of new constructions without planning permission. This will enable prompt inspections and legal actions against violators.

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