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A Greek initiates legal proceedings against oligarch Rybolovlev

05 October 2015 / 12:10:59  GRReporter
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The decision of Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev to buy the island of Aristotle Onassis became international news last year. He and his daughter Ekaterina, who is the official owner of Skorpios, celebrated the event with a spectacular party, inviting to it dozens of representatives of the world jet set, including Prince Albert of Monaco and other members of his family, members of Monaco football club, royals from other countries, businessmen and show business representatives.

Today the Greek newspaper Ethnos reveals that, in connection with the event and in view of the security of the guests, the coast guard in Lefkada had banned boats from passing around the island and in particular, through the maritime area between Skorpios and the small uninhabited islet Skorpidi.

For this purpose, the service put buoys in the region and guards patrolled the entire area to monitor the compliance with the ban on motor boats. Every violator of the ban was warned that Rybolovlev’s security would alarm the coast guard if the violator entered the area and it would impose a fine of 1,500 euro.

A Greek citizen, however, refused to comply with the ban and according to some sources, he had said that he had no problem paying this amount and had done so. While expecting to receive a summons for paying it, however, he has submitted a claim to the Supreme Administrative Court, requesting the cancellation of the order issued by the coast guard director in Lefkada. He supports his claim with a series of legal arguments and mainly with the one that the decision has imposed undue restrictions on his freedom of movement. According to the claim, the ban violates one of the basic principles in the Greek Constitution, namely that of equality.

Ethnos writes that the original ban that was issued for a period of four days in June 2014 was grounded on the need for security measures and police surveillance in the maritime area of ​​Skorpios.

In May 2015 the director of the coast guard in Lefkada issued an order that banned all professional and private vessels from passing both in the space between Skorpios and Skorpidi and in the east and west side throughout the year. According to the local media, the request for this was submitted by the company that had undertaken to manage the island.

Ethnos writes that the decision of the coast guard caused reactions among the residents of the region, and especially on the part of fishermen and ship owners who organize one-day tourist cruises. The representatives of the Workers' Centre in Lefkada made biting statements and asked the district administration and the competent ministry to lift the restrictive measures.

On 8 September, the director of the coast guard did not lift the ban but just reduced it by four months. The new decision states that all vessels are permitted to pass through the area only during the winter months and banned from passing from early March to late October.
Ethnos comments that when the applicant receives the summons to pay the fine, another claim will be filed in court, this time against its imposition. The legality of the ban on passing in the area, the duration of which is eight months, will be considered over the coming months.

Tags: SocietyDmitry RybolovlevSkorpios islandCoast guard LefkadaNan on vessels passingLawsuitSupreme Administrative Court
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