Italy and Greece will pay millions in fines for violating the directives on landfills
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In addition, Member States are also required to check whether it is necessary to clean up the old illegal sites and, if necessary, proceed to that sanitation. Seal the landfill and initiate criminal proceedings against the operator are not sufficient measures.
More semiannual sanctions
In its judgment, the ECJ condemned Italy to pay a lump sum of 40 million euros a penalty of 42.8 million euros per semester of delay in implementing the necessary measures for not having executed a ruling of its own Court of 2007, which declared a breach of directives relating to waste.
By a first judgment of 2007 the Court held that Italy had failed widespread and persistent obligations waste management defined by the directives on waste, hazardous waste and the landfill of waste.
In 2013, the Commission found that Italy had not yet adopted all the necessary measures to implement the judgment of 2007. In particular, 218 locations in the territory of 18 of the 20 Italian regions did not conform to the Waste (so it could be inferred that there must be sites operating without authorization); in addition, 16 of those 218 sites containing hazardous waste in violation of the provisions of the Directive 'hazardous waste.
Finally, Italy had not shown that five of the landfills have undergone a conditioning plan or measure decommissioning under the Landfill Directive.
In the course of this proceeding, the Commission indicated that according to the latest data, 198 sites still did not comply with the directive and that, of these, 14 were neither the Hazardous Waste Directive. Also, two landfills were still adjusting to the Landfill Directive.
This, however, was not the only fine imposed for noncompliance with a decision of 2055, which condemned the state for failing to comply with those directives, since another ruling of the ECJ itself, also of December 2, 2014, condemned Greece to pay 10 million euros, which if not taken urgent measures, could rise to 14 million.
The rapporteur, Judge Koen Lenaerts, considers that execution of the judgment, that is, compliance with the Directive, represents the reversal of illegal landfills, effective rehabilitation (and not just the programming of rehabilitation) and creating the measures required to ensure compliance with the directive permanently and prevent the creation of new illegal dumps facilities.
In determining the amount of the penalty, the Court has taken into account the seriousness of the offense initially declared in the judgment of 2005, which could endanger human health, its duration (over 9 years) and the ability to pay Greece.