Though we have a very good chance to win, as of now no significant progress has taken place since the summer in relation to our appeal. We are in contact with the lawyer who follows the case. The date of discussion of the appeal in the Council of State has not been determined yet.
Also, till now there is no progress in the procedure of approval of the SEIA study (Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment) by the Ministry. The relevant Directorate is waiting to receive the feedback by several Authorities, which had been asked for their opinion.
One of these Authorities is the Regional Council of South Aegean. We were informed the last moment that the issue would be discussed in the Council on October 31st and under strong time pressure we sent our arguments to all members of the Council. Unfortunately, the Council approved the SEIA. We were informed that political pressure had been exercised on the members of the majority to approve the SEIA and the project.
Two remarks on the above: a) This approval does not have an important impact on the final decision. Even if it were negative, it might not affect the result, as it is a non-binding opinion. b) The member of the majority in the Council Costas Bizas from Paros voted against the project. Note that Costas Bizas will be a candidate as a Mayor in the Municipal Elections of 2023.
The Municipality of Paros was also asked for an opinion on the SEIA study of the project. The Mayor did not even bring the issue for a discussion in the Municipal Council, claiming that it had approved the project in an earlier session. He was told that this is a different thing, as they had to express their opinion on the SEIA study and not the project itself, but this didn’t make a difference.
We did not expect a different attitude by the local Authorities, as they are under political pressure to approve it. Our hopes lie on the Council of State, which repeatedly rejects similar developments on the ground of lack of bearing capacity studies that it considers as a prerequisite for accepting such projects. Important examples: In April 2022 the Council of State rejected even the extension of town planning borderlines of Paros settlements as it was not supported by bearing capacity studies. And the same happened with a big hotel in Mykonos.
Overall, our plan should not change and we have a very good chance to win. What we have to do is to follow closely the case and whenever the SEIA is finally approved by the Ministry to appeal again to the Council of State, this time against that approval. Our group will again have to pay money, but this is the only way to stop it.