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Parliamentary questions
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3 November 2009
by Michail Tremopoulos (Verts/ALE)
to the Commission

 Subject: Route of the new E65 motorway through two important Natura 2000 regions
 Answer in writing 

Construction work has begun on the southern section of the new E65 motorway, crossing the Sperchios valley and river in the prefecture of Fthiotida. One of the first unfortunate consequences is that trees have been cut down on the forested river banks at Alamana and there have also been heavy losses of highly productive agricultural land.

The Sperchios valley and the Sperchios delta region are included in the Natura 2000 network respectively as a region of Community interest (GR2440002) and a special protection zone (GR2440005); these two areas constitute a rare ecosystem and a rich resource, surrounding and nourishing productive agricultural land.

The general lack of implementation of any land policy in Greece means that thousands of hectares of highly productive agricultural land are given over to other uses, despite the fact that conservation and protection of highly productive agricultural land are constitutional obligations in Greece.

Given that land and fertile soil must be protected to combat climate change, could the Commission answer the following questions.

1. As this project affects two areas of Community interest, one of which is a special protection zone, has the Commission been informed that the Greek administration ignored the impact assessment procedure laid down in Article 6 of Directive 92/43/EC(1)? If so, what steps does it intend to take?

2. Does the Commission know whether the Greek administration studied any alternative routes for this project, for example, bypassing the town of Lamia on its northern side?

3. Is this project compatible with the European guidelines and legislation on the management and possible deterioration of highly productive agricultural land?

(1)OJ L 206, 22.7.1992, p. 7.

Original language of question: ELOJ C 10 E, 14/01/2011
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