Chapter 8: The Costs and Benefits of Implementing the European Urban Waste Water Directive in Greece
8. The costs and beneﬁts of implementing the European Urban Waste Water Directive in Greece A. Kontogianni, M. Skourtos, B. Zanou and I.H. Langford 1. INTRODUCTION The Greek peninsula is endowed with over 13 700 km of coastline. As a result, ‘The majority of Greek national territory is coastal land’.1 A handful of indicators aptly demonstrates the importance of the coast and, by the same token, its vulnerability to human pressures: coastal areas represent 72 per cent of total Greek territory, 86 per cent of the Greek population lives in coastal areas, 88 per cent of employment in manufacture is found in coastal areas as well as 90 per cent of all tourist activities and 90 per cent of energy consumption.2 Protecting coastal water quality deserves (and has in part acquired) a prominent position on the oﬃcial Greek policy agenda as well as in environmental activists’ plans. This interest is reﬂected in a number of national and international initiatives addressing the issue of land-based marine pollution into the Mediterranean basin.3 The record of policies and measures directed to the protection of coastal waters in Greece shows a mixed picture. On the one hand, within the EU ‘Blue Flag’ programme almost all Greek beaches (97.14 per cent)4 meet the highest quality standards. On the other hand, pollution levels are high in the vicinity of large urban centres and industrial sites. As stated in the latest EU report on urban waste water treatment and the implementation of Council...
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