Timeline

The “Save Ios” association consists of friends and residents of the island who oppose the planned form of development. What we advocate and seek instead is a type of development that is more sustainable and friendly to the environment, that is compatible with the natural character of the island, and whose benefits are better disseminated to the local community.

May 2023
The Environment Councillor of the South Aegean Regional Government signs, after four years, the report of the Inspectors of the Regional Government’s Environment Directorate, imposing a fine of 132,000 Euros to 105 SA for twelve environmental and building violations in the Koumbara-Diakofto area. The violations include building within the seaside zone in the northern, southern, western and south-western parts of Diakofto, building a road within the seaside zone in Koumbara and carrying construction activities within a stream.
March 2023
The single-member first-instance court of Athens rejects a SLAPP-type (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) lawsuit of Mr Michalopoulos against our association for slander. Our association had reproduced on its website an article of EfSyn newspaper about a prison sentence that the three-member first-instance court of Naxos had imposed to the legal representative of 105 SA in December 2021. The article wrongly mentioned that the prison sentence concerned Mr Michalopoulos, which was corrected by EfSyn a few days later. Our article had made the correction when the article was first published, in a text that preceded the reproduced article.
January 2023
The three-member appeals court of Syros imposes a 9-month suspended prison sentence to the legal representative of 105 SA for environmental violations in the Koumbara area. Save Ios is represented in the trial to support the accusation by a lawyer and one of its board members. The decision by the appeals court follows the one by the first-instance court of Naxos in December 2021. The first-instance court had imposed a 16-month prison sentence, which 105 SA had appealed. The appeals court found the defendant guilty of the same environmental violations as the first-instance court did.
June 2022
LOUGIA SA attempts to construct a building illegally close to the top of the Tzamaria hill, right next to Ios harbor. Save Ios submits a complaint to the Ios Police and to Santorini Poleodomia. Following our complaint, Poleodomia requests that the works in the area stop because they are illegal. Poleodomia allows the works to restart in July 2022, with the building in question being excluded.
May 2022
The Supreme Court cancels, with decision 1037/2022, all permits, granted during the period 2012-2015, for the construction of a tourist village in the Koumbara-Diakofto area, and for making a neighboring beach private and accessible only to the residents of the village. The court justifies its landmark decision on the grounds that large-scale projects such as the one being considered that are designed to be constructed within areas with sensitive ecosystems, such as coastal areas and small islands, cannot be approved without a spatial plan and a study of carrying capacity for the whole area. In the case of Ios, this means a spatial plan and a study of carrying capacity for the entire island.
December 2021
The three-member first-instance court of Naxos imposes a 16-month suspended prison sentence to the legal representative of 105 SA for environmental and building violations in the Koumbara area. The environmental violations are those documented in the 2016 report by the Environment Inspectors. Save Ios is represented in the trial to support the accusation by a lawyer and three of its board members.
October 2020
The Ios Mayor signs a letter along with 60 important personalities and friends of Greece, on the dangers of recklessly promoting investment in tourist areas, and calls on the government to strike a balance between promoting investment and protecting the country’s natural and cultural environment.
July 2020
The Interministerial Committee for Strategic Investments grant strategic investment status to the above three investment projects.
June 2020
Save Ios and Sindesmos Iiton send a letter to the members of the Interministerial Committee on Strategic Investments, to warn them against giving strategic investment status to three new investment projects in Ios based both on the size of the projects relative to the island’s carrying capacity and on the environmental damage and violations that have already taken place. One of these projects is 5* hotel and luxury villas in Koumbara-Diakofto (the same area where the annulment request is being considered by the Supreme Court) by 105 SA. Another is a luxury hotel in Pikri Nero by Nero. Another is luxury villas in a large coastline area in the south half of the island.
April 2020
A 3km road is built between Calilo and neighboring Treis Klissies bay. Poleodomia at Santorini imposes a 60000 Euros fine for the road in June 2020 on the grounds that it was built without a permit. A further fine of 30000 Euros is imposed for every year that the road remains in place.
April 2020
Poleodomia (Building Directorate) at Santorini imposes a 120000 Euros fine to company 105 for illegal constructions in the Koumbara area.
February 2020
Foundation of Save Ios. The Association "Save Ios" was approved by order No. 74/2020 of the Athens Magistrate Court. Its main purpose, per its statutes is the protection of the natural environment of Ios, its traditional settlements and monuments, and its Aegean architectural physiognomy, taking into account Greek and European legislation and international conventions for the protection of the environment and cultural heritage.
November 2019
The European Court of Justice issues its opinion on the late submission of the annulment request. It takes the view that the permit was not publicized sufficiently broadly. The case goes back to the Supreme Court.
May 2019
Gkikas Gkikas is elected as a new mayor of Ios, with 62.9% of the vote. Mr Gkikas is a new candidate. He pledges to modernize the island’s infrastructure, improve the public services to the local inhabitants, and make the municipality strong and independent.
October 2018
Inspectors from the Environment Directorate of the Southern Aegean Regional Government visit the Koumbara project and identify fifteen additional violations of environmental law. Their report remains unactioned and is not forwarded to the court because the Regional Government representatives delay signing the fine for two years without any apparent reason.
March 2017
Mr Michalopoulos, his wife and their children, as well as Sharivan, Lucas and a private individual are fined 13000 Euros by the Environmental Directorate of the Southern Aegean Regional Government for environmental violations (building a 450m road, and conducting construction activities within a protected wetland), in the Avlaki Papa area. The decision is appealed in court and is overturned for all parties except Sharivan on the grounds that the violations have not been documented precisely enough. The fine is imposed again on Sharivan in 2021.
February 2016
Poleodomia (Building Directorate) at Santorini grants a construction permit for the hotel Calilo at Avlaki Papa, the site of all the documented violations in that area. In 2019, this permit is expanded to include more buildings. Calilo hotel is currently in operation.
February 2016
Environment Inspectors from the Ministry of Environment and Energy visit the Koumbara project and identify eight violations of environmental law. One of the violations is that the representatives of 105 SA do not give them full access to the area.
February 2016
Sindesmos Iiton (an association of people with Ios origins, founded in 1926), environmental associations and private citizens file a request at the Supreme Court to cancel the government’s decision to approve the Koumbara project. The cancellation is requested on many grounds, including that the project is too large relative to the island’s carrying capacity. The cancellation request is submitted past the deadline since the permit was publicized. The submitters’ side argues that the information about the permit was not publicized sufficiently broadly. The Supreme Court decides to solicit advice by the European Court of Justice on this procedural matter. Once it receives this advice, it will decide on the procedure matter and possibly on the substance of the cancellation request. The Supreme Court issues a temporary order to halt the construction until it makes a decision.
January 2016
MP for Potami and current Deputy Minister for Environment and Energy in the ND government, Giorgos Amyras, asks a formal question in parliament about the Koumbara project and the threats to the environment that it poses. Related questions about the activities of Mr Michalopoulos and his companies in Ios, the threats to the environment, and the violations of environmental and other laws are asked by MPs of SYRIZA (in 2016 and 2020), KKE (in 2017) and MERA25 (in 2020).
November 2015
Sharivan is fined 2000 Euros by the Environmental Directorate of the Southern Aegean Regional Government for environmental violations in the Avlaki Papa area (earthmoving within the wetland and the stream).
August 2014
105 SA obtains approval by the Central Government for the development of a luxury hotel and villas in the Koumbara area.
April 2010
Mr Michalopoulos is fined 150000 Euros by the Environmental Directorate of the Southern Aegean Regional Government for environmental violations related to the 2007 and 2008 fines. He appeals this fine in court and gets it overturned in 2019 on the grounds that the Regional Government did not follow some of the required procedural steps before imposing the fine. The court ask the Regional Government to impose the fine following all the procedural steps.
December 2009
NTUA (National Technical University of Athens) completes its study “Model Spatial Planning for Ios Island”. The preparation of that study had been agreed between the NTUA and the Municipality of Ios in August 2005. The study’s goal is to highlight and protect Ios’ physiognomy and to serve as a model for the preservation of other small Greek islands. Following a change of mayor in 2009 and a further change in 2010, the study is mysteriously disowned by the Municipality and none of its recommendations are implemented.
July to November 2009
Companies 105 SA, Lucas and Nero are founded by Mr. Michalopoulos and Ms Petridou, and start buying land in Ios.
August 2008
Mr Michalopoulos is fined 40000 Euros by the Cyclades Prefecture for environmental violations (building a 600m road, earthmoving and building walls, and altering a stream) in the Avlaki Papa area and is asked to restore the area.
October 2007
Sharivan is fined 60000 Euros by the Cyclades Prefecture for environmental violations (building a 1.5km road) in the Avlaki Papa area and is asked to restore the area. Avlaki Papa is the site of a wetland protected by Presidential Decree.
May 2007
Company Lougia is founded by Mr. Michalopoulos and his wife Ms Petridou, and starts buying land in Ios.
April 2006
Company Sharivan is founded in Cyprus and starts buying land in Ios.

October 2007 – Sharivan is fined 60.000 Euros by the Cyclades Prefecture for environmental violations

April 2006 – Company Sharivan is founded in Cyprus and starts buying land in Ios.

LOUGIA SA attempts to construct a building illegally at the top of the Tzamaria hill

May 2007 – Company Lougia is founded by Mr. Michalopoulos and his wife Ms Petridou, and starts buying land in Ios.

Naxos imposes a 16-month suspended prison sentence to the legal representative of 105 SA for environmental and building violations in the Koumbara area

The Ios Mayor signs a letter along with 60 important personalities and friends of Greece

The Interministerial Committee for Strategic Investments grant strategic investment status to the above three investment projects.

Save Ios and Sindesmos Iiton send a letter to the members of the Interministerial Committee on Strategic Investments

Poleodomia (Building Directorate) at Santorini imposes a 120000 Euros fine to company 105 for illegal constructions in the Koumbara area.

Poleodomia at Santorini imposes a 60.000 Euros fine for the road between Calilo and neighboring Treis Klissies bay

The Association “Save Ios” was approved

The European Court of Justice issues its opinion on the late submission of the annulment request.

Gkikas Gkikas is elected as a new mayor of Ios

Inspectors from the Environment Directorate of the Southern Aegean Regional Government visit the Koumbara project and identify fifteen additional violations of environmental law.

Mr Michalopoulos, his wife and their children, as well as Sharivan, Lucas and a private individual are fined 13000 Euros by the Environmental Directorate of the Southern Aegean Regional Government for environmental violations

Sindesmos Iiton (an association of people with Ios origins, founded in 1926), environmental associations and private citizens file a request at the Supreme Court

Environment Inspectors from the Ministry of Environment and Energy visit the Koumbara project and identify eight violations of environmental law

Poleodomia (Building Directorate) at Santorini grants a construction permit for the hotel Calilo at Avlaki Papa,

Giorgos Amyras, asks a formal question in parliament about the Koumbara project

Sharivan is fined 2000 Euros by the Environmental Directorate of the Southern Aegean Regional Government for environmental violations in the Avlaki Papa area

105 SA obtains approval by the Central Government for the development of a luxury hotel and villas in the Koumbara area.

Mr Michalopoulos is fined 150.000 Euros by the Environmental Directorate of the Southern Aegean Regional Government for environmental violations

NTUA completes its study “Model Spatial Planning for Ios Island”

July to November 2009 – Companies 105 SA, Lucas and Nero are founded by Mr. Michalopoulos and Ms Petridou, and start buying land in Ios.

August 2008 – Mr Michalopoulos is fined 40.000 Euros by the Cyclades Prefecture for environmental violations

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