Some weeks ago I posted information about the petition (organized by Jennifer Moody and Oliver Rackham) against tourist development---huge hotels, golf courses, etc.---at the NE tip of Crete.
As so many recipients of 'Classicists' e-mails evidently signed it, I take the opportunity to publicize this text, forwarded to me by Jennifer, from the campaign's lawyer in Siteia.
The petition reached its target of 10,000 signatures on 20 October, but can still be signed at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Save-the-Cretan-landscape. See also the group page 'Stop the Cavo Sidero development!' at www.facebook.com.
The court hearing on the Cavo Sidero project took place as scheduled on Friday, Nov. 7 despite an attempt by Loyalward/Minoan and their allies for a new delay. A postponement was sought on the grounds that further evidence was needed to rebut the proposing judge's report, which finds in favor of the petition to nullify the Greek government's environmental approval for the project. The 35-member plenary session of the Supreme Administrative Court (Council of State) rejected the request by a majority vote.
The proposing judge, Caterina Christoforidou, says that the proposed project, which will inject six "villages" with 7000 new residents into an area of less than 2000 present inhabitants, constitutes an intensive development contrary to planning laws currently in force which allow only mild tourist development in the area.
In her 33-page non-binding report, Christoforidou takes note of the fact that the area is within the NATURA 2000 protection network. She also says that the proposed three golf courses will alter the natural landscape and that the huge amounts of water required will tax the limited water resources of the area and will increase the existing desertification risk. A proposed desalination plant, she says, is not an answer.
The report also points out that the project poses a threat for the nearby palm forest at Vai.
The parties were given until November 21 to complete their written arguments and submit them to the court. These documents include a 600-page compilation of more than 10,000 signatures and respective comments accompanying a web petition titled "Save the Cretan Landscape" sponsored by Jennifer Moody (environmental archaeologist, University of Texas Austin) and Oliver Rackham (Prof of Historical Ecology, Cambridge University). The signatories include more than 500 scientists from from 84 countries.
The court will meet again in closed session within the coming months to make its final judgement.