Greece’s commitments under the bailout agreement and the misguided notion that environmental legislation is a stumbling block to economic development have taken a serious toll on green legislation, WWF Greece said Wednesday.

According to the WWF’s eighth annual review on the implementation of environmental law in Greece, the worst-affected legal domains were environmental impact assessment (EIA) and licensing, forest legislation, and construction.

Laws passed in the past 12 months -- some included in the midterm austerity program -- entail the legalization of thousands of illegally built properties, the undoing of the so-called Green Fund, and the potential exclusion of waste treatment plants from the environmental licensing process.

“The legislation and policies currently implemented exacerbate the ecological deficit, worsening longer-term environmental remediation costs,” said Theodota Nantsou, WWF Greece’s policy coordinator.