Activists are defending the last piece of virgin territory on Corfu Island, an island in Greece off the northwest coast of the Ionian Sea, against its transformation into an ultra-luxury resort by NCH Capital.
This movement is led mainly against the pro-business Greek government, which was starting to sell its assets at the top of the country’s debt crisis.
After 11 legal appeals, two presidential decrees, 10 ministerial decisions and 54 government interventions, the New York-based group NCH Capital has finally obtained the permits to move forward with the “Kassiopi project” on the island.
NHC Capital said it hopes to have transformed the promontory, known as Erimitis, “the hermit”, into an upscale “environmentally sensitive” resort with a five-star hotel, vacation villas and a 60-person marina.
According to its managing director, Andreas Santis, the construction will comply with the principles of bioclimatic design.
“It will be very green. Only 7% of the entire 500-acre site will actually be built. In terms of construction density which is far lower than any other area here.”
Lee Durrell, American naturalist, is far from being convinced: “Any destruction of such an ecosystem would be unthinkable […] I can understand the government’s argument in favor of foreign investment, but Erimitis is a jewel of nature that must to be saved.”
“Human beings have taken control of much of the planet and the natural world, so needlessly and at our peril […] And what has it led to? Deforestation, climate change and pandemics. We should learn from these lessons, ” she added.
The naturalist is not the only one to have opposed this idea. Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, regular visitors to the island, have also played a role in growing opposition to this project.