Click here to go to the following issues:

Economic Aspects | Natural Resource Aspects | Institutional Aspects | Social Aspects |Greece

ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN GREECE

Click here to go to these sections:

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The main Ministries in charge for decision - making and coordination of the other Ministries, on international cooperation and assistance for sustainable development, are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of National Economy.  There are three Institutional Bodies that administer Greek aid on issues concerning international cooperation/development assistance for sustainable development, namely:  The validation of the genetically modified products is carried by a Committee established by Ministerial Decision of the Minister of Environment. This Committee consists of representatives of the co-competent Ministries of Finance - General Chemical State Laboratory, Agriculture, Health, Development – General Secretariat for Research and Technology and General Secretariat of Consumers, as well as by specialized experts.

This Committee, among other responsibilities, is also assigned to plan the national policy and lay down the strategic design of Development Co-operation. The Committee is jointly chaired by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and National Economy. It constitutes the high-level decision-making body on any issue relating to Development Co-operation activities, including development assistance for sustainable development. The Committee’s Decisions have a binding character.

a.        The Directorate for Development Co-operation, Special Finances and Programmes  (D.C.D.) of the Ministry of National Economy.

       This core Directorate within the Ministry of National Economy, has a co-coordinating as well as an executive role, and actively participates in all activities, including planning, implementation and evaluation of development assistance programmes. At the same time, the Directorate has been assigned the obligation to assist and monitor development assistance projects, including those concerning promotion of sustainable development, and are implemented by other Ministries or Organizations.

 

b.        The Monitoring and Administrative Committee of the Development Co-operation Programme of Greece.

Representatives from all Ministries or Organizations implementing aid projects participate at the Committee meetings, whereas a Secretariat is provided by the Ministry of National Economy. The Committee’s responsibilities include:

-          ensure that all programmes and projects are eligible and in compliance with    the  priorities set by the Greek policy of Development Co-operation and by the directives of the DAC.

-          organize the evaluation of the Programme (mid-term and ex-post)

-          undertake any measures to accelerate the programme in case of delays

-          re-allocate funds to the programmes of different implementing bodies according to their absorption

-          provide information on the programme to all implementing bodies

-          provide information regarding the draft annual reports of the programmes, prepared by the Ministry of National Economy.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Since 1996 the Greek Government has taken various initiatives in order to establish an appropriate organizational structure to manage its bilateral development co-operation. Law 2297/95 which regulated the development assistance programme of the Ministry of National Economy, formed the basis for the preparation of  Law 2731/99 on the Greek Development Assistance Programme, which is a comprehensive legal text, establishing a uniform procedure covering the development assistance programmes of all Ministries and Organizations which participate in the five-year Development Assistance Programme of Greece (1997-2001) to partner countries. The new Law goes further in providing specific provisions concerning the role of NGOs in the development assistance programmes, falling under the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and for the establishment of the National Advisory Committee on NGOs. It also promotes the spirit of voluntary work among young people, especially students (participation in missions or humanitarian projects implemented by Greek NGOs).

Greece, as a member of the E.U., is committed to the principles of the trading system championed by the World Trade Organization (WTO).  Regarding non-discriminatory trade, Greece adheres to the Most-Favored-Nation clause of the WTO Agreement and is bound to grant no less favorable treatment to products of others members than that accorded to the products of any other country.  As far as the multilateral trading system is concerned, Greece, as a member of the WTO, favors the promotion of a business environment which is stable and predictable, largely by eliminating tariffs or custom duties and by adopting the principle of transparency of domestic laws, regulations and practices.

Greece, as an E.U. member, adheres to a second form of non-discrimination, known as national treatment”, requiring that once goods have entered a market, they must be treated no less favorably than the equivalent domestically produced goods. Greece has a comprehensive range of assistance and incentives, based largely on Law 2601/1998, effective from the 15th of April, 1998. This Law provides for assistance / incentives to qualifying investors carrying out qualifying productive investments. The incentives are available to Greek investors as well as to foreign investors participating in Greek enterprises. Under certain conditions, investments abroad, specifically provided by Law 2601/1998 (manufacturing and agricultural industries), are eligible for grants.

In order to avoid problems due to the provisional lack of integrated legislation, the General Directorate for the Environment of the Ministry for the Environment notified the General Directorate for Customs (August 1998) that it is obligatory to label all the cargos that include or is possible to include GMOs.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

 

Greece maintains the objective of the integration of developing countries and particularly the least - developed ones into the international trading system. This is assured through the E.U. policy of improving market access of products originating from those countries.

Within the framework of the Biodiversity Convention, a "Protocol for Biosafety" has been prepared, which has recently (Montreal, January 2000) been accepted by all geographical groups of the Signatory Members to the Convention. Greece participates in the relevant meetings and contributes to the common EU position.

In the same field, Greece has also incorporated into its national legal order the EU Directive 90/219 for the contained use of genetically modified micro-organisms (JMD 96287/1893/17-11-95). Moreover, the Regulation 285/97 for the Novel Food has also been published. For its implementation the competent authorities are the Ministries of Finance – General Chemical State Laboratory, Agriculture and Health.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

 

No information is available

 Programmes and Projects 

 

No.

          Projects (year 1999)

Grants (in USD)

A.

                    B.

C.

1.       

Global Environment Facility

1,252,647

2.       

UN - Basil Convention

14,289

3.       

UN - Biological Diversity

54,487

4.       

UN – EMEP

17,685

5.       

UN – Habitat

16,000

6.       

UN – MFMPOL

486,141

7.       

UN - Montreal Protocol

107

8.       

UN - Vienna Convention

1,013

9.       

UNEP – CMS

12,253

10.   

UNEP - I.A. Environment

25,000

11.   

UNEP - Trust Fund

177,528

12.   

UNFCCC

75,592

13.   

UNDP

228,988

14.   

WMO

154,388

 

  

No.

Recipient Country

Type of Aid

Project Description

Grant

(in USD)

A

B

C

D

E

1.

Ukraine

Environmental Policy

Contribution to the EBRD’s Trust Fund for the reconstruction of the Chernobyl Shelter (sarcophagus)

586,794

 

-     Natural resource protection;                     71,97 %

-     Poverty eradication;                                  0,00 %

-     Capacity building;                                  12,36 %

-      Policy formulation, planning, governance.                 15,67 %

 

 

No.

Recipient Country

Project Description

Grant

(in USD)

A

B

C

D

1.       

Albania

Economic and technical support to Local Authorities in the sectors of urban infrastructures and public buildings

272,686

2.       

F.Y.R.O.M.

Economic and technical support to Local Authorities in the sectors of urban infrastructures and public buildings (Municipalities of Gevgeli, Monastiri, Doirani)

240,209

 

 

Albania, F.R. Yugoslavia, F.Y.R.O.M, Bulgaria, Romania

Provision of know-how in the postal sector

255,160

1.       

Moldova

Provision of know-how to the administration (Ministry of the Interior)

62,024

2.       

Albania, Romania

Training programme for Government staff

81,782

 

  Promotion of entrepreneurship

 

No.

Recipient Country

Project Description

Grant

(in USD)

A

B

C

D

1.       

Romania-Ukraine-FYROM-Bulgaria

Business services-provision of technical co-operation

851,836

2.       

Russia

SME development - Seminar

200,197

3.       

Romania

SME development - Seminar

140,473

4.       

Ivory Coast

SME development - Seminar

83,668

5.       

Albania

SME development - Seminar

75,694

 

   Environmental research, management, conservation, etc.;

 

No.

Recipient Country

Project Description

Grant

(in USD)

A

B

C

D

1.       

Israel

Development and Implementation of methods for integrated control of water resources

 

98,138

2.       

Bulgaria

Planning of an integrated system for the protection of the biosphere

 

98,138

3.       

Ukraine

Transfer of anthropogenic toxic trace elements, halogenated organic compounds, petroleum products and phenols to surface and potable waters

 

98,138

4.       

Bulgaria

Waste Management & Disposal

 

98,138

5.       

Bulgaria

Harmonization of spatial planning systems with the policy directions of EU and OECD : case study of Greece and Bulgaria

 

98,138

6.       

Cyprus

Develop technical infrastructure for the protection of water resources from pressures exerted by climate changes

 

98,138

7.       

Bulgaria

Development of an Hellenic-Bulgarian Committee specialized on the quality control of surface waters, and more specifically, for the common rivers of Strimonas and Nestos

 

98,138

8.       

Albania

Planning, organization and implementation of a system for environmental administration in the S.E.

 

98,138

9.       

FYROM

Compatibility of transboundary stations monitoring the water quality of Axios river. Research of a software package for water quality and local conditions

 

97,922

  Education for sustainable development;

 

No.

Recipient Country

Project Description

Grant

(in USD)

A

B

C

D

1.       

Kazakhstan

Seminar – Development and protection of the environment

 

32,713

2.       

Fed. Republic of Yugoslavia - Romania

Establish environmental information centers for agencies involved with environmental management and protection in Balkan countries on environmental policy and administration issues 

 

47,433

3.       

Lebanon-Palestinian Adm. Area-Romania-Syria

Group of Environment of the Institute of Urban and Agricultural Sociology of EKKE

 

17,992

As mentioned in the answer to question 5, Greece’s contribution to the existence of secure and predictable market accessibility is determined through the Common European Trade Policy exercised through the WTO framework with the aim of reducing tariffs and custom duties.

Status 

 

Bilateral ODA;

 

in MUSD

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

Bilateral ODA

n.a.

n.a.

36,33

63,32

79,02

Bilateral OA

n.a.

n.a.

9,01

13,00

8,11

Total Bilateral ODA/OA

26,90

24,10

45,34

76,32

87,13

 

 

-        Contribution to multilateral organizations (Multilateral ODA);

 

in MUSD

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

Multilateral  ODA/OA

125,40

144,20

136,31

118,47

118,00

 

 

-        Emergency Relief;

 

in MUSD

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

Emergency Relief

5,05

0,75

3,90

2,36

15,00

 

 

-        Private Flows (including FDI);

 

in MUSD

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

Private flows

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

 

 

-        Other flows (please specify).

 

in MUSD

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

Official Export Credits

21,30

15,00

18,43

11,04

1,01

 

 

Challenges

 Any institutional or structural challenges that might appear in the effort of eliminating trade barriers are dealt with, exclusively, within the framework of the European Council, responsible for carrying out the common trade policy followed by EU member states.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

 

Greece, through NATO contributions, finances Greek students going abroad for qualifying in different educational or professional

fields.  In the same framework, professors, researchers, and to a lesser extent students from countries in transition may be

supported in order to come to Greece and qualify in various fields. This support is provided in the form of a scholarship.  Finally

Greece finances students from developing countries to take courses in Greece in various fields.

Information 

We have already opened up a Web site on the Internet which gives details about the identity of certain International Organizations such as UN, OECD, GEF, UNDP, World Bank.

 The web site is:  http://www.dos.gr/

The Ministry of National Economy draws up the Annual Report of the Greek Bilateral and Multilateral Official Development Co-operation and Assistance. This Report, covering the past fiscal year, is submitted to the Inter-Ministerial Committee for the Co-ordination of International Economic Relations (EDOS) each October, and to the Greek Parliament each November. At the international level, the said Annual Report is submitted to the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD.

In 1999, the Ministry for National Economy printed a publication that presented the whole programme of the Greek bilateral and multilateral official development co-operation for third countries.

The Directorate for Development Co-operation, Special Finances and Programmes, of the Ministry of National Economy, provides information on the granting of Greek development co-operation to third countries. Staff from this Directorate participate in workshops organized by various national bodies like the National Center for Public Administration, as well as Universities, aiming to provide information on development assistance issues.

Research and Technologies 

No information is available

Financing 

 

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

ODA/OA as percentage of GNP

  0.13%

  0.14%

  0.15%

  0.16%

  0.17%

 

 In August 1996, the Ministerial Council agreed to a substantial build-up of Greece’s development co-operation Programme over

 the 1997-2001 period. The total amount allocated during this period was 400.6 MUSD. The first three years have been

 successfully implemented, and expenditure targets met, despite the budget stringency required by Greece’ efforts to meet the

 Maastricht Treaty targets. The Programme provides for Greece’s total aid programme (Official Development Assistance and

 Official Aid combined, ODA/OA) to reach 0,20% of its gross national product (GNP) in 2001.

Cooperation

Greece, as a member of the EU, cannot enter into any bilateral trade agreement with any country without the framework of the Common European Trade Policy.  Greece, in the recent years, has given emphasis on the role related to the aid development sector and investments in the Balkan countries. Greece also affords voluntary contributions to the various International Funds, Organizations, Forums and Programs.

The Ministry of National Economy (Secretariat-General for International Relations) participates in the regular meetings of various EC Committees, i.e. FED (European Development Fund-ACP countries), PDV - ALA (Developing countries of Asia and Latin America) and MED (Mediterranean countries), approving projects to aid the developing countries to achieve sustainable development and in this capacity such programs and projects are supported. One of our tasks is to inform accordingly various Greek public or private sector agencies on international bids, research programs etc. (as the case may be), to be undertaken in the developing countries.

At the last joint meeting of the FED, PVD-ALA and MED Committees (Brussels, 15 June 2000) the European Commission presented drafts of European Parliament and Council Regulations for interventions to be financed under the Tropical Forest Budget Line (B7-6201) as well as for interventions to be financed under the Environment in Developing Countries Budget Line (B7-6200). The said drafts set the priority themes for the years 2000-2001, i.e. assisting developing countries in the implementation of their international obligations vis-a-vis the multilateral environmental agreements (Convention to Combat Desertification, Convention on Biological Diversity, Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol.

 

 

No.

Recipient Country

Project Description

Grant

(in USD)

A

B

C

D

1.            

Albania

Management of anthropogenic and natural environment in the mountainous south-west part of the region of Korytsa,

98,138

2.            

Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia Fed. Rep., Croatia, Romania, Turkey, FYROM

International Water Center for Balkans

98,138

3.            

Cyprus

Development of an integrated scheme for the management of solid wastes in
Cyprus

65,622

4.            

FYROM

Comparative study concerning the impacts of air pollution on flora found in the urban areas of Thessaloniki and Skopje

94,867

5.            

Romania, Fed. Rep of Yugoslavia

 Establish environmental information centers for agencies involved with environmental management and protection in Balkan countries on environmental policy and administration issues

47,433

6.            

Bulgaria

Planning an integrated system for monitoring continuously VOC emissions due to the use of organic solvents and transfer of petrol. Outline measures for their reduction in Bulgaria

98,138

7.            

Albania, Yugoslavia Fed. Rep., FYROM, Bulgaria, Romania

Spatial planning dimensions of transport policy in the south Balkan region

98,138

8.            

Albania, Yugoslavia Fed. Rep., FYROM, Bulgaria, Romania

Spatial Planning Priorities of Housing Network and Urban Concentrations in Balkan region

98,138

9.            

Bulgaria

Record current situation of waste water management in Bulgaria

98,138

10.        

Cyprus

Development and application of methods for the integrated control of toxic and harmful compounds found in the surface, potable and ground waters.

98,138

11.        

Romania

Spatial Planning constituents of cultural and natural environment interest : the case study of Istria at the mouth of Danube river

91,596

12.        

Albania, Yugoslavia Fed. Rep., FYROM, Bulgaria, Romania

Preliminary actions for establishing a continuous FORUM of Spatial and Urban Planning for S-E Europe

91,595

13.        

Albania, Yugoslavia Fed. Rep., FYROM, Bulgaria, Romania

Pilot application of a Spatial Planning Observatory for S-E Europe

98,138

14.        

Cyprus

Impact of water shortage and management of water resources on stream outfalls in island areas

94,867

15.        

Albania, FYROM, Bulgaria

Spatial Planning and Environmental Management of Water Resources in the southern Balkan area

58,883

16.        

Egypt, Tunisia, Israel

Actions concerning the treatment and re-use of wastewater and sludge in the south Mediterranean and Middle East countries

98,138

17.        

Ukraine

Establishment of an international regional center for analyzing and protecting water environment in the Black Sea region

88,324

18.        

Hungary, Fed. Rep. Of Yugoslavia, Romania

Symposium for the study of ecological and environmental consequences on the river Danube and the neighboring countries

65,425

 

*     *     *

This information was provided by the Government of Greece to the 5th, 8th and 9th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: March 2001.

For information on sustainable development in Greece, including assistance for sustainable development and multilateral cooperation, click here.

| Greece | All Countries | Home |

 

TRADE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

In the field of trade and the environment, among other actions, Greece has incorporated in its national legislation, the Directive 90/220/EC on the deliberate release of genetically modified organisms to the environment (Joint Ministerial Decision 88740/1883/6-11-1995, Official Government Journal 1008/B/11-12-1995). It aims at the precautionary protection of the environment from the effect of the deliberate release of GMOs for purposes of research, development or marketing. This Directive was modified by the Directive 97/35/EC which concerns the obligation of labelling of the products consisted of or containing GMOs. The latter Directive has also been incorporated into the national legislation (JMD 12924/1369, OGJ 1071/B/7-6-1999).

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

Until today, Greece has been characterized by a ‘spatial remoteness’ with regard to the central transport routes of the European Union area. In view of the European enlargement, and taking into account the new large transport-infrastructure projects which are currently under construction in Greece, namely the Patra-Athens-Thessaloniki-Evzoni highway, the Egnatia and Ionian routes and the several new trade ports, new perspectives and conditions are being discerned for the better integration of Greece in the European ‘space’ and the formulation of a new ‘nodal’ role that Greece can play in the Balkans’ region and the East Mediterranean.

In this framework of changes, there is a large potentiality for Greece to become a transit focal point of the regional trading activities or a link between other decentralized regions of the enlarged European Union (i.e. CEECs) and its geographic center. This structure can lead to a better and more balanced distribution of the trade loads throughout Europe and the reduction of pressure on the environment. It can, however, also have very positive impacts on Greece’s national economy, through the enhancement and establishment of new ‘access ways’ from Greece to the Inter-and Intra-European transport networks that can attract foreign investment.

With special priority given to the Metropolitan areas and the other large urban centers of Greece, current efforts are focused on the organization of ‘trade parks’, taking into account the existing entrances or gates of the urban conglomerations, and with immediate and free access to the inter-urban road and railway networks. These spatial planning interventions, can, on the one hand, assist and boost the economic viability of the wholesale trade, and, on the other hand, can lead to the gradual removal of the heavy-duty trucks’ traffic through the city centers. The latter can also result into energy saving and reduction of CO2 emissions.

With regard to retail trade in Greece, there are strong pressures leading to the conglomeration of this sector in the Metropolitan areas and especially in their outskirts. This trend dictates the institutionalization of rigid environmental terms and limitations to the site-allocation of such large commercial centers. Moreover, this system should be assisted by transportation through suburban – orbital trains, whose planning is regarded as essential for balancing the trends of the urban sprawl and the urbanization of the periphery of the urban centers, as well as for the sustainable development of the country’s mainland.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information 

Information related to trade, investment and economic growth is made available to users through the publications of the National Statistical Service of Greece and the Bank of Greece, the Budget Report of the Ministry of Finance and the quarterly report entitled "Recent Economic Developments" of the Ministry of National Economy. A limited amount of data can be accessed via the Internet. The web site of the National Statistical Service of Greece is: http://www.statistics.gr The Report of the Ministry of National Economy (which has only a short summary in English) can be found at: http://www.ypetho.gr/exam/exam99b/exam.99b.htm

Moreover, all the National Legislation, including National Laws, Ministerial Decisions, Joint Ministerial Decisions, Presidential Decrees etc, as well as the legislative enactments for the incorporation into the national legal order of the International Conventions, Treaties, Decisions etc and the European Union’s Directives, are published in the Official Government Journal. Moreover, each competent authority (i.e. Ministry) that has a web site, is responsible for publishing and updating all the relevant information, legislative and other, on their web site. As mentioned above, the web site http://www.ELKE.gr, in its folder "Investment Incentives", contains useful information on investments, economic growth and incentives’ providing, available to any potential user.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing

No information is available 

Cooperation

On the International level, it is worth mentioning that Greece is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and therefore participates, as a European Union Member State to all the regular meetings of the WTO.

*     *     *

This information was provided by the Government of Greece to the 5th  and 8th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: May 2000.

| Greece | All Countries | Home |

 

CHANGING CONSUMPTION PATTERNS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The responsible Government bodies dealing with aspects of sustainable consumption and production patterns are :

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

There is a favorable tariff regime for selling power generated by RES (Law 2244/94). Law 2601/98 provides for the application of the following incentives for RES and energy efficiency projects in proper combination:

Lastly, Law 2364/95 provides tax exemption to end-users up to seventy five percent of the purchase and installation expenses of household appliances or systems using RES or natural gas.

Environmental claims are a common practice in Greece, and during the last five years there has been a growing and discernible trend in using them. These claims usually deal with detergent products, paper products and recycling products. The major regulatory measures against false environmental claims in advertising are provided by article 9 of Law 2251/94 for Consumer Protection and by article 3 of Law 2328/95 for the regime of private television and of the radio/TV market.

For sustainable urban and building construction there is no direct legislation. There is, however, indirect legislation for the promotion of urban changes, change of attitudes, planning (especially of building design) that introduces the concept of sustainability, use of materials, conservation of natural resources (energy and water), use of environmentally-friendly construction materials, etc. At the same time, the Public Power Corporation and the National Water and Sewage Management Company promote matters of energy and water conservation through their tariff policies.

On the basis of self-regulatory measures against false environmental claims in advertising, there is a voluntary code of the Union of Greek advertisers. A regulation for the Sustainable Use and Conservation of Energy is also about to be issued for building construction, providing energy consumption limits and energy calibration of buildings. An energy identity card for buildings is instituted to ensure transparency in real estate purchase and use of sustainable materials.

Several manuals have been published recently with specific instructions on the following topics:

A new Energy Efficiency Code for all new buildings, encompassing energy consumption limits, energy identification, certification and energy labelling of buildings is under way. This code also provides new sustainable criteria for improving indoor air quality (use of sustainable materials). This legislation will contribute to changing demand for the quality of buildings and materials, which is also a determining factor in changing the production of construction materials.

Financial instruments employed include:

The Gas Market is regulated by the recently enacted Law 2364/1995 concerning gas distribution companies and their licensing, obligations applicable to the supply mechanisms, and performance standards. Pricing principles, being a major tool, depend on taxation policies and world wide acceptable principles on the security of supply (IEA, UNECE).

In the Gas Law, incentives are provided for investments in new gas-consuming equipment and energy technologies are on the eve of introduction. The Ministry of Development already proceeds with the regulation of any matter relating to the safety of installations, and also the professional status and licensing of the technicians in charge of installation, maintenance and supervision of the relevant equipment, by adopting and enforcing Regulations and Standards in co-operation with the Hellenic Standardization Organization (ELOT) and EU.

Law 2244/1994, which superceded an earlier enactment of 1985, improves regulated electricity purchase prices sold to Public Power Corporation by auto-producers and independent producers using renewable, at a rate fixed at 60% to 90% of the end-user tariffs and simplifies the licensing procedure. Furthermore, issues related to auto-producers and cogeneration are clarified in that Law whereas the prices are merely regulated by virtue of ministerial decisions.

A draft of a proposed law to be passed by the Parliament aims at reforming the Electricity market in agreement with the relevant EU Electricity Directive. The Bill provides for power generation, transmission and generation networks control, ownership or exploitation among electricity consumers and others.

In lignite mining, supply and use for electricity generation, the EU Large Combustion Plant Directive is applied and a 0.4% tax on Public Power Corporation’s (PPC) annual revenue is imposed, for rising funds necessary for environmental protection investments and economic development in regions where PPC operates lignite fired-power stations.

A new Law of Economic Development Incentives 2601/1998 addressing climate changes operates positively in the framework of the Kyoto protocol implementation. The Law was initiated jointly by the Ministries of National Economy and the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works and provides financial support, inter alia, for Renewable Energy Sources (RES), Rational Use of Energy (RUE) and Energy Saving. By taking full advantage of the incentives provided in that Law the Ministry for Development has already promoted:

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

A National Energy Strategy guides all recent national legislation for sustainable planning, housing policy, building regulations etc. promoting sustainability, first in consumption patterns which also could have a secondary effect on the production pattern.

The main topics taken into consideration are sustainable energy (RES, Energy Efficiency), water, waste, clean technologies (sustainable buildings), through Energy 2001 (the National Action Plan for Energy Conservation in the Built Environment) aimed both at changing existing production and consumption patterns through the promotion of building construction techniques and services aimed at energy conservation and at the integration of renewable energy technologies. Especially sustainable materials, through Inter Ministerial Decision 21475/4707 (Gov. Gazette 880 B-19-08-98). An Inter-Ministerial Decision has been approved recently, in implementation of the European Directive SAVE (93/76/EC), to provide measures and terms of energy efficiency in buildings. The new legislation contributes to change production and consumption patterns in the fields of energy, water, and materials.

The progressive implementation of the Energy 2001 is expected to contribute to the reduction of energy and water demands up to fifty percent and to promote the use of Renewable Energy Sources.

The Ministry of Development has adopted the integration of the environmental concerns and dimensions into the main stream of the National Energy Policy and promotes both of them within the framework of its political priorities. In cooperation with other Departments and Organizations having jurisdiction thereto, it strives to meet the targets set for the sustainable use of energy mix and for the development of suitable patterns of energy production and consumption.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

Several major groups, industry organizations, unions, NGOs and consumer groups participate in the Supreme Board for Awarding Ecological Labels (ASAOS), established by a Ministerial Resolution for Awarding Ecological Labels (within the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Work). The Board provides information to the business community and consumers, and organizes international meetings. In addition, the Board, has undertaken the task of establishing criteria, with the support of the Commission of the European Communities, for the following:

Programmes and Projects 

The Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works has under way the following activities:

Other programmes include the Operational Programme for Energy (1994-1999) launched by the Ministry for Development promotes energy efficiency, rational use of energy, use of renewable energy sources, and the use of natural gas (total budget: 566,300 kECU)) and the Operational Programme for Natural Gas (1994-1999), both running under the EU Community Support Framework II, Law 2244/94 (for the promotion of CHP and RES for power generation) and the Development Law 2601/98, which provides financial support inter alia to RES and energy efficiency projects.

The areas in focus are:

Actions supported by the Operational Energy Programme and the Operational Programme of Natural Gas (1994-1999) of the Ministry for Development, intend to apply, in terms of real dimensions, policies and measures pertinent to sustainable energy and to environmentally friendly energy sources and technologies.

The main policies, measures and tools extend their scope by creating the indispensable infrastructure for planning, designing and monitoring the necessary organizational and legal structure. Supported actions and programmes include, inter alia, the following:

Status 

Energy intensity has increased steadily since the 1970s, while that of most International Energy Agency (IEA) member countries has decreased. At present, Greece’s energy intensity is close to the average for IEA Europe. Energy intensity in the industrial sector is low compared to many IEA countries due to the smaller contribution of heavy industry to overall economic activity in Greece. Energy intensity in the residential/commercial sector is lower than the average for IEA Europe, partly reflecting Greece’s mild climate, but it is gradually rising and is likely to converge with the European average in the future. The contribution of tourism to energy use is increasing and the growth of summer air conditioning supports the increasing trend.

The transportation sector is more energy intensive than in IEA Europe and has risen in recent years. Greece’s higher energy intensity in the transport sector can be partially explained by low automotive gasoline and diesel prices, which are among the lowest in IEA Europe. Transport energy use and electricity consumption grow at a faster pace compared to GDP than in most IEA countries. Greece presents the highest contribution of the transport sector to total end-use energy consumption (forty percent). The domination of road transports leads to high-energy consumption, in combination with the technological age of the existing vehicle fleet.

Industry’s share in energy consumption has been reduced to twenty five percent. This reduction reflects the course of the industrial production index and its structure, while the contribution of energy efficiency is minor, since it has been applied to a limited extent.

Energy consumption for other uses, featuring households and services, has been reduced considerably, to thirty three percent. However, in terms of absolute figures, energy consumption in these sectors presents a continuous increase, as a result of improvement in living standards and the ever increasing contribution of the tertiary sector in GDP

The contribution for renewable energy sources to the national energy balance is lower (four percent) than in other European Union countries (6%). An increasing penetration of solar energy appears, both in terms of absolute figures and growth rate

There are several national targets aiming at the enhancement of energy and material efficiency, waste reduction, recycling, public transport and quality of life. These include:

1. Improving efficiency of the energy system (saving and rational use of energy) by:

2. Energy efficiency in industry, private and public sectors (hospitals, schools etc.) by providing investment incentives.

3. Improving energy efficiency of buildings through:

4. Energy intervention in transport sector by:

5. Promoting use of cogeneration technologies through:

With the implementation of the Operational Programme for Energy, the expected energy savings are as follows:

From Sub-program me "Energy Conservation": 700 kTOE annually (energy efficiency, use of natural gas).

From Sub-program  "Renewable Energy": 200 kTOE annually (renewable energy sources).

Pilot projects, activities and research are underway in the following areas:

The Directorate of Shelter Policy and Housing of the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works promotes pilot programmes aimed at the rational use and management of natural resources, energy conservation, and sustainable development of human settlements by: (a) construction of a model settlement for civil servants in Santorini island, according to bio-climatic house construction principles; (b) co-funding of the photovoltaic systems programme of solar energy transformation in electric energy at Donousa and Sifnos islands; and (c) funding of the First Ecological-Bio-climatic Building (model).

Challenges

Multiple energy conservation projects appear to have arisen through a series of independent processes without explicit coordination; projects are managed and evaluated individually. It is difficult to judge if the measures now pursued are those with the greatest potential for energy savings. At this time, there is no effort at evaluation of energy efficiency.

In the transport sector, incentives to renew the stock of automobiles and commercial vehicles, as well as improvement to transportation infrastructure (both roads and public transport) are required

Nevertheless, there are also some positive features to address issues related to promoting sustainable consumption and production, which are the following:

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

The consumer awareness-raising campaign on energy labelling of domestic appliances and especially of refrigerators and freezers aims to:

The manufacturing and retailing industries often participate either as sponsors or as speakers in conferences and seminars dealing with environmental issues. In most cases this is done with the co-operation of the Ministry of Development as well as that of the consumer organizations. Small and Medium-sized enterprises also participate with increasing interest.

Other activities include the training of energy managers in matters of sustainable use and conservation of energy, education of engineers, and environmental education. The training objectives of this programme can be met through the voluntary employment of young people on projects using traditional construction materials and techniques in different regions of Greece.

In 1996 the Ministry of Education organized seminars directed to elementary and secondary level teachers in order to turn the consumer’s attitude towards sustainable consumption patterns. In the same year the Ministry of Education also carried out seminars for students of secondary education, by experts in the field. These seminars covered issues such as nourishment, health, hygiene and the environment. The students were made conscious of the environmental impacts of their behavior, as well as of the differentiation of their "product choices".

In the years 1995-1997, the European Young Consumer Competition was carried out with the co-operation of the Ministry of Development and in particulate with the General Secretariat of the Consumer, the Ministry of Education and the EKPIZO Consumer organization (NGO). The goal was to increase consumers' awareness as well as to make consumers more aware and concerned over environmental issues. The competition had very positive effects. It increased the awareness of the educational community, whilst the school children changed consumption patterns towards better environmental choices.

Information   

Currently an Energy Auditing, including the definition of the specifications for energy auditors, is being established. The energy situation of energy consumers is identified to facilitate decision making on energy efficiency reliable and economically effective measures.

Research and Technologies   

Clean and environmentally sound technologies are promoted and applied in production through Incentive packages provided by Development Law 2601/1998, the Operational Programme for Energy and other legislation in the field of:

Financing 

Activities are financed through:

Cooperation

No information is available

 

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Greece to the 7th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development.  Last Update: November 1998.

| Greece | All Countries | Home |

 

FINANCING

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available 

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Law 2601/1998, or the so-called ‘Development Law’, reviewed and revised the incentives for intensifying private investments, which maintained in effect for over 15 years and had been legislated with laws, 1262/82 and 1892/90. Despite the more general restrictions, the re-orientation of incentives and the reduction of subsidies towards private investments, which the new law recorded, took into serious consideration the state’s sensitivity for protecting the environment, limiting pollution and saving energy. The Development Law was revised in the context of a more in-depth rationalization of the government sanctions. This is achieved by reducing the direct sanctions and promoting / increasing the indirect ones, in the form of economic incentives. Through this Law, the private investment for the economic and regional development of the country is being promoted and the issue of poverty reduction is addressed. It covers the following sectors:

The Development Law (2601/1998) informs the potential investors of any possibility of increasing sanction for actions in line with the principles of Sustainable Development.

The Environmental Protection Law includes the "polluter pays principle" (Article 29) and provides for the levying of waste and water user charges. The same Law established a system of strict, objective liability with regard to anyone damaging the environment through pollution and degradation. Several Ministerial decisions make polluters fully liable concerning compensation for marine pollution, used oil, toxic waste and PCBs.

Greece has also instituted pollution fines for combustion sources and car exhaust emissions.

The protection of the environment in Greece, is being achieved through a number of other measures as well, which do not necessarily have the form of "taxation measures", per se, but can be considered in a broader frame of general economic instruments and measures. The Greek taxation system already includes measures focusing on the protection of the environment, which are added to any newly introduced ones.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available 

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

For 2000, the Hellenic Center ELKE has programmed the carrying out of integrated pilot projects, for the development of touristic infrastructure and of traditional products, according to the principles of Sustainable Development, which are sequentially going to be promoted to the international market for implementation.

Investments and leasing programmes concerning equipment for:

The evaluation of these investment schemes and their selection for their intensification, according to Law 2601/98, is actuated, based on specific classification criteria and following compulsory rating (OGG 854/B/98). Each investment scheme, which during its evaluation by the competent advisory committee collects a minimum number of points, is approved for classification, under the clause of Law 2601/98. Included in the evaluation criteria are the contribution in energy saving, in environmental protection and in the limitation of pollution, with a weight of significance up to 20% on the minimum demanded rating point accumulation. This provision contributes determinedly to the eligibility and the intensification of the special investment schemes which aim at energy saving, protecting the environment and limiting pollution.

Since the data collection and evaluation system is at a transitional stage, it is not yet ready at this moment to evaluate the exact contribution of the implementation of this new Law 2601/98, or the current and expected interest from Greek and foreign investors.

Status 

In securing the materialization of subsidized investments, the average participation of the investor has in itself increased, to a 40% in the entire country.

A number of economic instruments are used in Greece, namely:

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information 

National Reports of Greece submitted to different International Organizations include information on finance. In particular, Law 2601/1998 on economic incentives of the Ministry of National Economy, has been mentioned in:

All Laws are being published in the Official Government Journal, hence they are available to all interested parties. Moreover, all the competent public authorities and all the syndical bodies is responsible for the edition of informative material (i.e. pamphlets, reports etc) for the diffusion of the information. The interested parties can also find relevant useful information in the website of the ELKE, via Internet (www.ELKE.gr), in the folder for "investment incentives".

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing 

The general restrictions which have been introduced with the new law, which provide for the subsidy of solely new agents/organizations (newly founded enterprises of a maximum of 5 year operation since their foundation) and a maximum subsidy amount of 15,000,000 GDR per new labor position, do not apply to special environmental protection investments, and investments for limiting pollution and saving energy.

Cooperation  

No information is available

*     *     *

This information was provided by the Government of Greece to the 5th and 8th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: May 2000.

For information on participating States in the Global Environment Facility, click here:

| Greece | All Countries | Home |

 

TECHNOLOGY

Transfer of Environmentally-Sound Technology

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

N o information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Law 2244/7.10.94, which regulates matters referring to the production of electric energy, promotes relatively large investments by offering more incentives for "self-production" of energy by renewable sources and by ensuring long-term contacts.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Public Power Corporation (PPC) is applying specific policies for environmental protection and improvement of energy efficiency, in particular in the development of the country's hydro potential and exploitation of renewable energy sources. Hydro power contributed 3,764 GWh in 1995, an increase of 25% since 1994. According to Public Power Corporation's expansion plan, 0.8 GW large-scale hydro capacity should be added to the existing 2.5 GW hydro capacity by the year 2000. The National quantitative targets for renewable energy sources in primary energy/electricity to year 2000 are as follows: hydro 733 ktos, wind 68 ktos, solar 156 ktos, and geothermal heat 20 ktos.

As far as the exploitation of wind energy is concerned, the Public Power Corporation is the only agency to plan important wind farm installations. Due to the specific legal framework, until recently in effect, the contribution of the private sector was limited to the installation of a limited number of wind generators to meet specific private requirements. Wind energy is expected to increase considerably, though still at a marginal level. This increase will be quite substantial in the country's insular regions where power generation costs from conventional fuels are particularly high.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

In 1994, the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Technology launched three programs in Greece that contain, inter alia, measures and actions to promote the dissemination and development of clean production technologies. These are five-year programs (1994-1999) that provide primary policy goals in the areas of industry, energy, research and technology. The Industry Program aims to create a system for product quality through standardization and certification, and for the technological modernization of enterprises. The Energy Program promotes energy efficiency, the rational use of energy and the use of renewable energy sources, and seeks to integrate environmental issues into all energy policies. This program also promotes the use of natural gas. The Research and Technology Program provides measures to promote environmentally friendly technologies and forms of energy, improved materials, and new production and manufacturing methods. The program also promotes cooperation between research and production institutes.

Status 

There had been no other National environmental management systems prior to the introduction of the Eco-Management Audit Scheme (EMAS) in Greece. However, Greece has shown a vivid interest from the beginning and has supported the promotion of EMAS at the European Community level. The Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works is currently promoting the pilot implementation of EMAS in public enterprises in the industrial sector, but intends to expand the scheme to small and medium sized enterprises in the near future.

There are also several related activities under way. For example, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry has already published a guide for industries on the implementation of EMAS (the guide is also available as software). The Hellenic Organization of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises is financing the implementation of pilot projects in small and medium sized enterprises and will soon publish a series of guideline books by industrial category.

The Hellenic Accreditation Council, operating within the Ministry of Development, will be responsible for the Accreditation of Environmental Verifiers and will also organize seminars for their training. It is estimated that out of the approximately 200 enterprises currently applying the International Standards Organization ISO 9000, 100 will adopt ISO 14000. It is also quite possible that a lot of these enterprises will adopt EMAS through the ISO procedure. This leads Greece to view the EMAS and the ISO scheme as complementary and not competitive. Fifteen companies have already shown interest in joining the system, and there has been considerable interest from several municipalities and hotels. Furthermore, several companies have already initiated their internal audits and intend to resort to verifiers accredited in another EU member state to validate their environmental statement.

Basic criteria and general guidelines that may be useful in assessing technology options are being developed in the Second Community Support Framework of the European Union. This involves the creation of the relative infrastructure in order to introduce the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive to Greek legislation (creation of a data bank for clean technologies and financing display works).

Challenges  

Lack of human capacity, information, and financial resources are considered the main obstacles towards the transfer of environmentally sound technologies.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

The Centre of Renewable Energy Sources is a member of the Organization for Promotion of Energy Technologies (OPET). The contribution of the OPET network in promoting energy technologies is quite significant. The OPET network was created under the framework of the THERMIE programme of the Commission of the European Communities (Directorate-General for Energy, DGXVII). Its target is the promotion of innovative energy efficient technologies for environmental protection. Its fields of application are: renewable energy sources; rational use of energy; solid fuels; and hydrocarbons.

Specifically, the activities of the Division for Renewable Energy Sources and Rational Use of Energy are European seminars; campaigns; market studies; databases with addresses for dispatching information material; collaborating with the EU General Directorates I and XVI under the programmes PHARE (technical support to developing countries) and regional development respectively for exchange of experience and transfer of know-how; and combining local and sectoral characteristics, and specific measures for energy saving.

Under the Operational Environmental Programme of Greece, a Communication Strategy aimed at public awareness raising and EMAS promotion is being developed. LIFE is also financing a communication strategy that includes a series of seminars and meetings for the concerned parties. The Hellenic Industrial Association, the Industrial Association of Northern Greece, as well as other sectoral associations and private bodies are also organizing presentations on EMAS.

Information 

The Center for Renewable Energy Sources (CRES), which is supervised by the Ministry of Development, operates a database with information on Greek projects involving organizations and scientists active in the fields of renewable energy sources and the rational use of energy. It is connected with the Commission of the European Communities' databases SESAME and CORDIS via HELLASPAC and ARIADNET.

Research and Technologies   

The Ministry of Industry, Energy and Technology plans to establish a Center for New Energy Technologies to promote innovative environmentally sound energy technologies, support the transfer of technology, improve the capacity for the development and management of technologies, and develop networks with other organizations at the National and international levels.

As for geothermal energy, the exploitation of the substantially high enthalpy potential has come to a halt following the serious errors committed in the past in an experimental unit which triggered a general feeling of apprehension among the population. Research in geothermal energy sources started in 1970 by the Public Power Corporation with the aid of foreign experts. It has been estimated that there is a high geothermal potential especially in the islands. Thus, the Public Power Corporation plans to exploit the most important geothermal energy sources in the country. In addition, the General Secretariat of Research and Technology has completed a study on "Environmentally Sound Technologies in Greece: Progress of Research and Technology, Economic and Social Impacts".

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation  

At last, Greece participates actively in the efforts in the EU for the dissemination and promotion of renewable energy sources as well as in energy efficiency projects. The Ministry of Development tries to incorporate and promote the corresponding EU policies and programmes, such as ALTENER, SAVE, JOULE-THERMIE, TACIS, PHARE, Research and Development Programmes, and new policies like MEDA or the Energy Charter.

The Energy Programme of the European Community Support Framework promotes policy to reinforce investments related to renewable energy sources. The composed Energy Investments Guide under the framework of the Energy Operational Programme adopted by the EU extends to investments on biofuels, energetic plantations, and promotion of bioclimatic buildings financing, as well as applications of environmentally sound technologies for the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxides (NOx) emissions in industrial, professional, and commercial installations under the guidelines of sustainable development.

 

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Greece to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

 

Biotechnology

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

In Greece, the General Directorate of the Environment in the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works is the competent authority and the coordinating body for the implementation of European Community (EC) Directives in the area of biodiversity.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects 

The General Directorate of the Environment in the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works is supported by a group of experts and civil servants representing other ministries as members of a National Committee. National and regional administrations, the scientific community, NGOs, and the private sector are the major groups involved in biotechnology.

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

The General Secretariat for Energy and Technology of the Ministry of Development is providing the funds to the relevant research institutions. Training for authorities on the implementation of the relevant regulation on biotechnology is foreseen for 1997. An effort is also being made to create a database including all biotechnology notifications.

State annual financial allowances for biotechnology include: US$ 15,928,000 from the General Secretariat for Research to the Agricultural Research Institute 1993; US$ 17,044,000 for research purposes 1994; US$ 19,076,000 1995; US$ 2,020,000 from the General Directorate for Environment for various activities 1997; US$ 1,120,000 1998; and US$ 1,120,000 1999.

Cooperation  

In accordance with European Union (EU) legislation, National regulations should exist for placing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on the market, research and development, and the use of genetically modified microorganisms. Specific subjects such as placing plant protection biotechnology products on the market are also implemented via EU legislation. Regulations on novel foods involving biotechnological products are in preparation.

Placing on the market is the exclusive responsibility of the EU. Research and development as well as the use of GMOs are regulated by EC Directives but their implementation in Greece lies under the responsibility of the Greek State. Environmental impact assessments of such products are currently being undertaken by the Ministry of Environment in cooperation with the University of Crete and the University of Thessaloniki. 

 * * *

This information was provided by the Government of Greece to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.
Click here to link to biosafety web sites in the European Union.

| Greece | All Countries | Home |

 

INDUSTRY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available 

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Since 1994, the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works has elaborated an integrated National Action Programme for Climate Change. The Action Programme is based on a drastic energy conservation policy in all sectors of final consumption including industry, the use of natural gas, and the promotion of renewable energy sources.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

In 1994, the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Technology launched three programs in Greece that contain, inter alia, measures and actions to promote the dissemination and development of clean production technologies. These are five-year programs (1994-1999) that provide primary policy goals in the areas of industry, energy, research and technology. The Industry Program aims to create a system for product quality through standardization and certification, and for the technological modernization of enterprises. The Energy Program promotes energy efficiency, the rational use of energy and the use of renewable energy sources, and seeks to integrate environmental issues into all energy policies. The Research and Technology Program provides measures to promote environmentally friendly technologies and forms of energy, improved materials, and new production and manufacturing methods.

Status 

Greece has introduced an Eco-Label Award Scheme through Joint Ministerial Resolution 86644/2482/1993 in harmony with European Community regulation 880/92. The Ministerial Resolution established a Supreme Board for Awarding Ecological Labels within the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works. Several major groups, industry organizations, unions, NGOs and consumer groups, participate in the Supreme Board for Awarding Ecological Labels. The Board, named ASAOS, provides information to the business community and consumers, and organizes international meetings. ASAOS organized, for example, the third General Assembly of the Global Eco-Label Network which took place on the island of Skyros, Greece on the 6-7 July, 1995. In addition, the Board, has undertaken the task of establishing criteria, with the support of the Commission of the European Communities, for, inter alia, a Communication Strategy which Greece has developed to inform industry, consumers, business, and interested groups about the performance of the Eco-Label Scheme in Greece.

There were no other National environmental management systems prior to the introduction of the Eco-Management Audit Scheme (EMAS) in Greece. However, Greece has shown a vivid interest from the beginning and has supported the promotion of EMAS at the European Community level. The Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works is currently promoting the pilot implementation of EMAS in public enterprises in the industrial sector, but intends to expand the scheme to small and medium sized enterprises in the near future.

There are also several related activities under way. For example, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry has already published a guide for industries on the implementation of EMAS (the guide is also available as software). The Hellenic Organization of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises is financing the implementation of pilot projects in small and medium sized enterprises and will soon publish a series of guideline books by industrial category.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation  

No information is available

 

*     *     *

This information was provided by the Government of Greece to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

| Greece | All Countries | Home |

 

TRANSPORT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Transport and Communications is primarily responsible for decision-making regarding the transport system and the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works is also responsible for the improvement of infrastructure and the monitoring of air pollution from transport. 

Coordination is taking place through inter-ministerial committees and inter-ministerial ad-hoc meetings. Comments on draft legislation,  prepared by the competent Ministry, are provided by the co-responsible bodies.  The 1997 administrative reform has increased the participation of local and regional governments.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The most important Joint Ministerial Decisions (CMD) for the reduction of vehicle emissions are:

   - JMD 97321/3341/1992 “Form and Content of Exhaust Check Card”, which  introduced the exhaust gas emission inspection programme for road vehicles. Passenger cars are tested once a year, and taxis and buses twice a year. Vehicles complying with the emission regulations receive exhaust gas control cards. First introduced in Athens in 1995, such programmes now exist in 30 prefectures. Mobile checking stations operating under the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works and the Ministry of Transport and Communications, perform random emission checks on cars, and air pollution fines may be imposed on owners of cars not conforming to emission norms.

   - JMD Φ50/94474/4556/1994 “Determination of measuring method and permitted values (limits) of carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbons(HC) in exhaust gases of gasoline and LPG powered vehicles”.

 - JMD Φ50/94475/4557/1994 “Determination of measuring method and permitted values (limits) of the opacity of exhaust gases from diesel powered vehicles”.

Since 1990, exhaust emission regulations required new gasoline-fueled cars to have    three-way catalytic converters and use unleaded gasoline.  Moreover, in the early 1900’s, a vehicle scrapping programme was launched to reduce the number of old-technology vehicles. Owners of old-technology cars could turn them in and get a significant discount on the purchase of a new car equipped with a catalytic converter. Some 350.000 cars were scrapped in this way. Furthermore, all vehicles require a periodic technical check at the established regional Centers of Vehicle Technological Check (one in each of the country’s Regions).  Since the mid-1980’s an alternate license plate system in Athens has restricted use of passenger cars in the city center between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday. Cars with odd-numbered plates may be used only on odd-numbered days, cars with even-numbered plates only on even-numbered days. 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

There is a number of ongoing projects to improve and develop Greece’s transportation infrastructure. These are primarily improvements to general public infrastructure, but will also improve energy use for transport. They include:

                             -         The Athens Metro

-         The Patra-Athens-Thessaloniki-Evzoni motorway

-         The Egnatia Motorway

-         Modernisation of the Hellenic Railways system

-         Expansion of the Athens Metropolitan Railway

There is a number of ongoing projects to improve and develop Greece’s transportation infrastructure. These are primarily improvements to general public infrastructure, but will also improve energy use for transport. They include:

Since 1994, the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works has elaborated an integrated National Action Programme for Climate Change. The Action Programme is based on a drastic energy conservation policy in all sectors of final consumption including transport, the use of natural gas, and the promotion of renewable energy sources.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

Action Programme 2.3 of the Operational Environmental Programme of Greece aims at improving the air quality in the urban area of Athens. The programme consists of major interventions for the reduction of emissions from motor vehicles, as well as from domestic heating devices, and industrial units. It is expected that on completion of the programme, air quality will be improved substantially, especially in the center of Athens. The overall budget for Action Programme 2.3 is 32.6 MECU. Specific actions under this Programme include: interventions to improve traffic in urban centers; development of a coordinated mass transit system; measures for noise reduction in major roadways; abatement of noise in tourist areas; expansion of dedicated bus lanes in the urban center of Athens; an extended system for the inspection of emissions from motor vehicles; and a "Park and Drive" Programme.

-             application of a major telematics programme

-              introduction of passenger information system in bus stops

-              introduction of information technology systems for the monitoring   

      of the transport service.

 The construction of two new subway lines in Athens has been completed in 2000. Added to the existing line, they now total 44 kms. Their further expansion is under way. The construction of a new subway line in Thessaloniki is also under way.  In Athens, other major infrastructure improvements aim to alleviate traffic congestion. These include: expansion of the urban ring road, construction of a number of flyovers, improvement of the traffic light system, creation of restricted access areas in the city center, creation of extensive pedestrian ways and green areas, creation of dedicated bus lanes in major avenues.  Traffic management planning has been carried out in certain areas, especially those near major tourist attractions.

Renewal of the bus fleet with 750 new buses with lower consumption and pollution standards.  Reduction of fuel dependency on diesel (introduction of CNG) Purchase of 300 new CNG buses, which are to be rooted in the central, environmentally sensitive areas of Athens.  Improvement and standardization of fleet maintenance procedures. Usage of large articulated buses in order to obtain higher occupancies per vehicle, resulting in lower energy consumption per passenger.   

Status

In 1998, the following amounts of fuels were consumed in the transport sector:

-Leaded gasoline: 501,676 Mton

-Unleaded gasoline: 598,897 Mton

-Diesel: estimated 300,000 Mton

Total SOx emissions have been almost stable between 1990 and 1997 in Greece (507 ktons in 1997), but the contribution of transport to this amount is only 9%.

 Total NOx emissions in Greece increased by 8% to 369 ktones in 1997, compared to 1990 values. Transport is the largest contributor (48%) to total NOx emissions.

 Total NMVOC emissions in Greece increased by 18% to 442 ktones in 1997, compared to 1990 values. Transport is the largest contributor (59% to total NMVOC emissions.

 Total CO emissions have almost stable between 1990 and 1997 in Greece (1375 ktones in 1997) with transport being the largest (71%) contributor.

All automobiles require, among others measures, a periodical check at the already established regional Centers of Vehicles' Technological Check (one in each Prefecture). Besides, Greece has already harmonized European Union (EU) directives concerning the upper permitted limits for CO2 and oxygen surplus emissions. In 11 Greek prefectures, including the prefecture of Attika, the Gases Check Card System has been established. Under this System, private use automobiles are obliged, once annually, to be checked and supplied with the appropriate card. Furthermore, mobile checking stations of the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry of Transportation perform random emission checks on cars. In addition, the scientific community has undertaken studies on health effects resulting from air pollution and depletion of the ozone layer. 

Challenges  

No information

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation  

No information is available

*     *     *

This information was provided by the Government of Greece to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

| Greece | All Countries | Home |

 

SUSTAINABLE TOURISM

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies       

In Greece the responsibilities for sustainable tourism at the national level are divided among the Ministry of Development, Greek National Tourism Organization (NGTO) and the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works. The regional services of NGTO and the Regions tourism administrations are responsible at the local level. A Draft Decree will pass this competency over to the Regions and the Prefectures accordingly.

The Organization of Thessaloniki (OT), in Salonica, is responsible for the land use, spatial planning and distribution and the area's environmental protection. The Ministry for the Environment patronizes both organizations.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

The National legal framework for sustainable tourism is based on both national legislation and the basic guidelines of the EU 5th Action Plan for the Environment 1992-2000 ("Towards Sustainability"). Environmental standards are in place and need to be met by tourist industries.

Monitoring of tourist development is essentially carried out by the Greek National Tourism Organization, in coordination mainly with the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works, and also with other competent authorities at the national, regional and local level. Gradually, an increasing number of tourist enterprises use environmental standards and practices, in addition to the ones provided by law.

A certain number of tourist industries have accepted to apply ISO 9001, ISO 9002 or ISO 14001 standards on a voluntary basis, but there is a need for more information and incentives.

Through Ministerial Decision 538866/spec. 135 NTO (797/B/87), specific areas of Greece are declared as Areas of Controlled Tourism Development, and parts of them are declared as "Saturated Tourist Areas" aiming to control tourist development and upgrade the developed tourist destinations.

The Development Incentives Law 2601/98 enhances the modernization of operating tourist units, the conversion of traditional listed buildings into hotels, as well as investments in environment protection projects and in the use of renewable energy sources.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Sustainable Tourism is included in several national strategies: National Tourism Policy, National Physical Planning Strategy, which are mostly presented under the Environmental Operational Programme of the Community Support Framework.

A survey dedicated to the Development of Sustainable Tourism in Athens has been elaborated in response to the needs of the city. Furthermore, the OA has already undertaken specific programmes related to sustainable tourism such as:

Eco tourism and nature based tourism are an integral part of national and regional tourist policy mainly through public investment in infrastructures, incentive policy, promotional campaigns, participation of NGOs and the voluntary sector in various specific projects at the national, regional and local level. In all mountain areas, measures have been taken for the conservation, regeneration, and expansion of forests. Measures have also been taken to induce the local population, especially the young, to remain in mountain areas by promoting alternative livelihood opportunities through the promotion and development of eco-tourism, mountain tourism, and agro-tourism.

The Organization of Athens (OA) is charged by the Structural Plan and Programme for Environmental Protection of Athens law, to develop the necessary planning tools to coordinate actions and programmes proposed for the area by the other public agencies and to consult and advise Municipal Authorities on local scale proposals. The approach in confronting the regions' problems is first to emphasize programmes and actions directed at the improvement of the area, followed by long-term planning activities and legislative actions designed to ensure the sustainable development of the region. In this context the OA is also responsible for sustainable tourism practices, policies and plans.

The OT has located three different areas: (a) those more developed for tourism, (b) those appropriate for tourist development by using the General Town Plans and (c) the Settlement Control Zones (under way). These areas are selected based on their sustainability, promotion of cultural heritage, particular natural beauty and areas needing rehabilitation.

The main issues covered by the existing national strategies are: Tourist development planning, legislation, definition of saturation zones, incentives for environmentally sound investments, public awareness and promotion campaigns, education projects and vocational training. The protection and promotion of the natural and cultural environment through proper physical planning are also taken into consideration.

Measure 1.2 of the sub-program me Tourism of the Community Support Framework, promotes sustainable tourism development focusing in particular on establishing the infrastructure for the development of mountainous, and therapeutic, cultural, and ecological tourism, based on the natural and human resources of each area.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

Major Groups involved in decision making for sustainable tourism are the following:

The Government has developed women's agricultural and tourist or artisan cooperatives in order to create employment alternatives for women in isolated areas (e.g., the Aegean Women Cooperative). For some years, several women's agricultural tourist cooperatives have been operating in the Aegean islands. Their activities focus on providing comfortable housing in rented rooms or apartments, family restaurants, local traditional cuisine, organizing cultural events, manufacturing local food products, etc.

Programmes and Projects 

Various programmes are carried out under the Community Support Framework (CSF), at the National and Regional Operating Programmes.  Among other activities undertaken under the CSF are public investment in infrastructure, in promotion of mountain tourism, and training programs for eco-tourism.

Status 

Tourism plays an important role in the Greek economy and employment. Tourism accounts for seven percent of GDP. In 1997, forty four percent of invisible receipts came from tourism (the travel foreign exchange is 3.770 USD), and twenty eight percent of the trade deficit is covered by tourism. Direct employment in the tourism industry is estimated at up to 6% and indirect (including temporary jobs in tourism-related activities) over ten percent of the total employment.

Tourism has been increasing in Greece over the last decade. International tourist arrivals increased from 8,053,052 in 1987, to 10,588,489 in 1997 (+ 31,5%). In 1987, there were 5,771 hotels with a total capacity of 375,367 beds, and in 1997 there were 7,594 hotels with 561,068 beds (respective increase + 31.5% and + 49.5%). Even if the same rates of growth are not expected for the next ten years (an estimate of 14 millions arrivals for the year 2008 is not unrealistic), an increase can be estimated due to the upgrading of the tourist product. Major changes are expected in employment, mainly in increasing the percentage of qualified jobs.

Tourism development has an important impact on various environmental, social, institutional and cultural aspects of Greece. It imposes considerable pressures on coastal and mountain land, on habitats, natural sites and cultural heritage, transport facilities, energy and water resources, waste water treating facilities, on air and sea water quality, etc. due mainly to the concentration of tourist activities in specific areas. Unplanned and uncontrolled tourism development has a negative impact on the environment as well as on the other economic sectors. Specific planning policies regarding the carrying capacity of these areas, including visitors' management projects and land use planning, tend to control this impact and prevent major damages that could occur. Cultural heritage and the natural environment are the basic elements of natural wealth upon which tourism is actually based. The main goal of tourist policy is to preserve these national resources to achieve a sustainable tourist development.

Some specific actions or projects carried out by the Greek National Tourist Organization illustrate the following approach:

Challenges  

The main constraints are the lack of a consistent specific national strategy for sustainable tourist development, and also the relatively narrow margins for allocating public resources in order to support the implementation of such policies.

Other more specific constraints include:

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

State administration at the national and regional levels, local authorities, public agencies, NGOs, employers and employees federations etc. organize training seminars and conferences on sustainable tourism. Information dissemination on environmental issues and awareness raising campaigns are undertaken as well as workshops and seminars on sustainable tourism.

The European Blue Flag awareness campaign, under the auspices of the Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe (FEEE) became commonly known as a symbol of environmentally sound areas as far as organized beaches or marinas is concerned. In the framework of this project, local authorities are responsible for the implementation of specific criteria covering the four aspects of management:

GNTO and the departmental authorities run the market of tourism products geared toward attracting environmentally conscious tourists at the national and regional level, while at the local level it is carried out by agencies of local authorities. There is also a growing part of the hotel industry marketing aiming at this target group by diversifying their products and using specific marketing and promotional activities.

Information 

The Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works and the Ministry of Agriculture ensure availability of relevant information.  Inventories of different issues are also available with the competent authorities. GNTO manages a database collecting most aspects of tourist product related to natural resources.

Research and Technologies 

Technology-related issues such as those associated with transportation, provision of freshwater, sewage and waste disposal are systematically faced in the framework of EU's programmes.

Environmental management systems are applied in hotels and other tourist establishments.

Financing 

All activities (whether activities of the public or the private sector) are financed or co-financed by national or community funds. Private investment is subsidized by national and community funds in addition to investors' own participation. Community funds through the Community Support Framework aim to develop and promote eco-tourism and to train employers and employees.

Cooperation

Greece has several "model sustainable tourism destinations". Indirect assistance is provided through exchanging information, including participation of officials in various international conferences, seminars and meetings. Direct assistance is provided mainly to local authority officials.

The main channel of cooperation is the use of specific promotional campaigns through the Departmental Commissions of Tourist Promotion, financed by the National Tourism Organization. Additional forms of cooperation are financing NGOs in promoting eco-tourism, public awareness in environmental protection, and alternative forms of tourism among others.

Cooperation is carried out multilateral organizations in which Greece participates and major international projects:

There are also a number of bilateral agreements containing issues on tourist development and on education and training for tourism.

*     *     *

This information was provided by the Government of Greece to the 7th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development.  Last Update: November 1998.


| Natural Resource Aspects | Institutional Aspects | Social Aspects |

| Greece | All Countries | Home |