Development bill: Simplify legislation for the licensing of enterprises

A key aim of the draft omnibus development bill that the Greek government has tabled in Parliament, among others, is to simplify legislation for the licensing of enterprises, offer incentives for establishing enterprises in business parks and to lift an embargo on industrial investments in Attica.

The new legislation, tabled late on Wednesday, abolishes the existing regime for industrial and manufacturing activities, which is based on emissions, noise, gas and other categories, and replaces this fully with an environmental classification. Spatial and town planning will be similarly share this classification, “establishing a more accurate system for spatial and town planning and avoiding any unnecessary double licensing, while an examination of environmental impact will be holistic and much more detailed,” the environment and energy ministry said in an announcement.

The draft bill envisages that in a joint ministerial decision to be issued by June 30, 2020, all business activities will be placed in the environmental classification categories and a 30-year transition period will be given to allow companies to modernise their facilities.

The draft bill also envisages that projects and installations within business parks with approved environmental terms will be classified in lower environmental licensing category. A process to establish whether a company modernising its facilities requires new environmental terms is simplified, a building factor (0.6) on strategic investments in the industrial sector is expanded to more industries (the current legislation offers a 0.6 pct building factor to industries with more than 200 workers and investing more than 200 million euros. This factor is now expanded to industries investing 30 million euros creating 75 new job positions, or industries investing 25 million euros and creating 50 new job positions, but located in business parks.

The draft bill also allows more industrial activities of an A2 category in Attica but only within industrial/business parks.