Over 1600 illegal dumps in Greece have been closed down since the middle of last year as the Greek Government tries to avoid a massive fine from the European Union.
The government admitted last week that while there are still over 400 illegal landfills in Greece, it was ahead of schedule in closing them down.
According to figures released by a ministerial committee, there were 2108 dumps operating illegally last summer. Deputy Interior Minister Athanassios Nakos said that 1698 of these have now been closed down, leaving 410 still to be tackled. He said these would be dealt with by the end of the year. Nakos added that the government’s target had been to shut down 1555 landfills by the end of 2008.
The government suggested that the rapid rate at which the dumps are being closed means that the EU may not impose the considerable fine with which Greece had been threatened.
Brussels had informed Greece last year that it would be fined 34,000 euros per day from the start of 2009 for each illegal landfill that remained open.