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Saturday, 6 October 2007

Professor Eleni Briasouli-Kapetanaki

I am describing this distinguished Greek academic because her expertise and interests relate so directly to the current problems of land use faced by Greece, and other countries blighted by the activities of the Lopachkins. Her interests, from her public CV are:
Environmental/Energy/Economic Planning and Policy Analysis Integrated Economic/Environmental/Energy Modeling Environmental Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Negotiation Tourism and the Environment, Sustainable Tourism Development Planning Theory and Decision Making Planning Methods (Demographic, Economic, Evaluation, Integrated Models) Multicriteria Analysis and Evaluation
Look at just a sample of the things she writes about, in academic journals, in policy reports and in practitioner journals:
Land use policy and planning, theorizing, and modeling: Lost in translation, found in complexity?' Environment and Planning B (forthcoming). 'The institutional complexity of environmental policy and planning problems: The example of Mediterranean Desertification', Journal of Environmental Planning and Management (2003) 'The "commons" – Resources of collective ownership and collective responsibility: Concepts, problems and the question of their management'. Aeichoros (2003). 'Golf and tourism: The invisible sides of the moon'. Geografies (2003, forthcoming). (in Greek) 'Crete: Endowed by nature, privileged by geography, threatened by tourism?'. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, Vol. 11, No. 2&3 (2003, forthcoming). 'Sustainable tourism and the question of the commons'. Annals of Tourism Research Vol. 29, No. 4 (2002). 'Sustainable development and its indicators: Through a (planner’s) glass darkly'. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Vol. 44, No.3, 2001 'Policy-oriented integrated analysis of land use change: An analysis of data needs'. Environmental Management, Vol. 26, No. 2 (2001). (with J. Papazoglou and G. Bonanos) 'Risk Informed Decision Making in Land Use Planning' Journal of Risk Research 3(1): 69-92 (2000). 'Tourism and biodiversity: Impacts and issues', European Nature, No.3: 3, November 1999. 'Who plans whose sustainability? Alternative roles for planners'. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Vol. 42, No.6, 1999. 'Sustainable development and the informal sector: An uneasy relationship?', Journal of Environment and Development
Meanwhile the Athens News Agency has a report in my regular digest of stories from Greece [No.2975, 6 Oct 2007]:
[33] Agriculture ministry promises tough action against crooked forestry official Deputy Agriculture Minister Costas Kiltidis on Thursday pledged that the ministry will closely monitor the case of senior forestry service official Panagiotis Kanellopoulos - who currently faces a charge of bribery - and stressed that the ministry would not allow 'even a whisper' of suspicion regarding the existence of corrupt transactions in the forestry department. 'What must at last prevail is the morality of responsibility' Kiltidis said, adding that the response of the authorities would be 'ruthless in every direction'. He was answering a question raised by main opposition PASOK MP Theodoros Pangalos in Parliament, who pointed out that Kanellopoulos had already been granted two postponements in the hearing of the case against him. According to Pangalos, the whole Markopoulos area where Kanellopoulos served as head of the local forestry service was 'abuzz' with his activities. 'He operated in two ways: either by removing the designation of land as forested or public land and acknowledging it as private land, in return for bribes, or by blackmailing and raising issues that land was forested that he finally gave freely to be converted into building lots in order to earn money,' Pangalos claimed. The MP further noted that the accused and a team that quite likely assisted him were rumoured to have earned huge sums in this manner, while pointing out that Kanellopoulos had a highly luxurious residence and lived in a 'scandalous' manner. Pangalos also commented on the fact that the same forestry official had let it be known that he was extremely highly connected and could expect support, and that his brother was a trade unionist that was very well known at the agriculture ministry. 'I am not suggesting that this constitutes some sort of responsibility but it is undoubtedly an interesting dimension that must be treated carefully. It would be better if postponements of his trial did not continue,' the MP added. Kiltidis noted that the forestry official was being prosecuted by justice and through internal disciplinary proceedings and that the Public Administration Inspectors and Comptrollers Corps had been called in to investigate any cases that Kanellopoulos had handled. Thanking Pangalos for his question, he said that the entire government and leadership of the ministry were determined to uphold the law, according to the prime minister's orders. Kanellopoulos was arrested on September 24 after he accepted a bribe of 5,000 euros in pre-marked notes from a woman to give a favourable opinion in a property case concerning her husband.
This is not a Greek problem. This is a far wider problem which in the way i am framing it involves two very different types of Greek with highly contrasting values and attitudes. The market for Greek land is global. We with our blind love for Greece, and our property ownership in Corfu are among the millions of those consuming the dream and stoking passions for 'a place in the sun' (I am referencing an exhibition held at our National Exhibition Centre near Birmingham only days ago at which two friends of ours from Corfu had a stand - people who are doing property development 'the right way' but without getting on any moral high horse - see a revised version of 'The Frogs' earlier in this blog). It seemed to me, being only partially frivolous, that this juxtaposition of an academic expert clearly committed to implementing rational and progressive land use policies in Greece with a corrupt forestry official accused of taking bribes from those who want to build on land intended for trees, echoes the familiar tension that has run through modern Greek history since the War of Independence, between klephts and constitutionalists. My apologies if this is an offensive analogy but it was the one that occurred to me. How i would like to see a conversation between forestry official Panagiotis Kanellopoulos (not to be mistaken for the Greek statesman of the same name) and academic Professor Eleni Briasouli. What could they say to one another? It is an impossible conversation - and has been for a long time. E-mail to Professor Briassouli
Dear Dr Briassouli. In apprehension I may have caused offence or even been impolite in taking your name in vain I thought I would check for your permission and, hopefully approval, for posting your public details on my blog (URL below) and on Flickr: I am a lecturer at Birmingham University (UK) and very interested in evidence-based policy making (among other local government subjects) and curious about the degree to which your distinguished work enters political discourse in Greece. My comment on Flickr related to the contrast between your erudition and commitment and the corrupt practices of a forestry official selling off land ‘informally’. It seemed to me an ancient tension maintained by the global market for Greek land – to which I contribute as a consumer, owning a property in Corfu, since earlier this year. Yours sincerely, Simon Baddeley Inlogov, School of Public Policy University of Birmingham

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Simon Baddeley