A major new victory in the fight to protect the environment of Ios was achieved yesterday. The three-member Aegean Court of Appeal in Syros sentenced the legal representative of the company 105 SA to a nine-month suspended prison term for environmental violations in the Koumbara area of Ios. This legal representative was previously sentenced to 16 months in prison with suspension by the three-member Misdemeanor Court of Naxos in December 2021. The Court of Appeal acquitted the defendant of the urban planning violations for which she had been convicted in the first degree but confirmed the environmental violations. These environmental violations include;
- stream damming
- arbitrary road opening
- construction of a concrete bridge on the beach of Koumbara
The decision of the Court of Appeal dispels any doubts as to the legality of the activities of the company 105 SA. Issues of arbitrary activity also exist for the related companies LUCAS, SHARIVAN & NERO, which have also carried out arbitrary road opening, alteration of natural streams, interventions in protected wetlands, etc. These companies are closely connected with Mr. Michalopoulos and Ms. Petridou, as we have seen in recent media interviews where they proudly show these companies as their own.
Mr. Michalopoulos and Ms. Petridou advertise at every opportunity their environmental sensitivities and their intentions to protect the environment and the character of Ios. Yet, when it comes to legal matters, such as yesterday’s court case, they attempt to hide behind legal representatives and the corporate structures of their companies. Yesterday’s decision of the Court of Appeal, following the initial decision that preceded it in Naxos, exposes a serious contradiction to many of their environmental stewardship claims.
Our Association attended yesterday’s trial in support of the charges, with our lawyer Mr. Spirakos and our vice president Mr. Dimitriou. Their contribution to the sentencing decision was particularly important and we sincerely thank them. We also warmly thank the representative of the Ministry of Environment’s Environmental Inspection, who attended the trial as a witness, for the excellent work he did in documenting and certifying the violations. One of the conclusions arising from the trial is the important role of the Environmental Inspectorate, which the current ND government as well as the previous one of SYRIZA have done their utmost to weaken.