Database release:

For Special Protection Areas (SPA),
Proposed Sites for Community Importance (pSCI),
Sites of Community Importance (SCI) and
for Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)



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1.1 Type


1.2 Site code


1.3 Site name


1.4 First Compilation date


1.5 Update date


1.6 Respondent:

Name/Organisation:Υπουργείο Περιβάλλοντος και Ενέργειας

1.7 Site indication and designation / classification dates

Date site classified as SPA:2010-03
National legal reference of SPA designationJMD HP 37338/1807/E103/6-9-2010 (OJ 1495 B)


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2.1 Site-centre location [decimal degrees]:


2.2 Area [ha]


2.3 Marine area [%]


2.4 Sitelength [km]:


2.5 Administrative region code and name

NUTS level 2 code Region Name

2.6 Biogeographical Region(s)

Mediterranean (0.00 %)


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3.2 Species referred to in Article 4 of Directive 2009/147/EC and listed in Annex II of Directive 92/43/EEC and site evaluation for them

Species Population in the site Site assessment
G Code Scientific Name S NP T Size Unit Cat. D.qual. A|B|C|D A|B|C
      MinMax  Pop.Con.Iso.Glo.
BA293Acrocephalus melanopogon                   
BA293Acrocephalus melanopogon                   
BA168Actitis hypoleucos                   
BA247Alauda arvensis                   
BA229Alcedo atthis                   
BA229Alcedo atthis                   
BA054Anas acuta                   
BA056Anas clypeata    30  30   
BA704Anas crecca crecca    50  50   
BA050Anas penelope                   
BA705Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos    20  20   
BA705Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos    50  50   
BA055Anas querquedula                   
BA703Anas strepera strepera                   
BA394Anser albifrons albifrons                   
BA255Anthus campestris                   
BA257Anthus pratensis                   
BA259Anthus spinoletta                   
BA228Apus (Tachymarptis) melba                   
BA228Apus (Tachymarptis) melba                   
BA226Apus apus                   
BA226Apus apus                   
BA090Aquila clanga     
BA699Ardea cinerea cinerea     
BA634Ardea purpurea purpurea     
BA635Ardeola ralloides ralloides     
BA169Arenaria interpres                   
BA059Aythya ferina                   
BA061Aythya fuligula                   
BA060Aythya nyroca    15  15   
BA060Aythya nyroca    40  40   
BA688Botaurus stellaris stellaris                   
BA215Bubo bubo                   
BA087Buteo buteo             
BA403Buteo rufinus             
BA243Calandrella brachydactyla                   
BA144Calidris alba                   
BA672Calidris alpina alpina                   
BA147Calidris ferruginea                   
BA145Calidris minuta                   
BA146Calidris temminckii                   
BA010Calonectris diomedea                   
BA224Caprimulgus europaeus                   
BA682Charadrius alexandrinus alexandrinus                   
BA137Charadrius hiaticula     
BA734Chlidonias hybrida                   
BA198Chlidonias leucopterus                   
BA197Chlidonias niger                   
BA667Ciconia ciconia ciconia                   
BA030Ciconia nigra                   
BA080Circaetus gallicus             
BA081Circus aeruginosus     
BA081Circus aeruginosus     
BA082Circus cyaneus                   
BA083Circus macrourus                   
BA084Circus pygargus                   
BA113Coturnix coturnix                   
BA036Cygnus olor     
BA738Delichon urbicum (urbica)                   
BA738Delichon urbicum (urbica)                   
BA698Egretta alba (Casmerodius albus albus)     
BA697Egretta garzetta garzetta    12  12   
BA447Emberiza caesia                   
BA447Emberiza caesia                   
BA382Emberiza melanocephala                   
BA101Falco biarmicus                   
BA098Falco columbarius                   
BA100Falco eleonorae                   
BA095Falco naumanni     
BA709Falco peregrinus brookei     
BA097Falco vespertinus                   
BA321Ficedula albicollis                   
BA723Fulica atra atra    40  40   
BA723Fulica atra atra    200  200   
BA153Gallinago gallinago                   
BA689Gavia arctica arctica           
BA625Glareola pratincola pratincola                   
BA130Haematopus ostralegus                   
BA092Hieraaetus pennatus (Aquila pennata)                   
BA131Himantopus himantopus    15  15   
BA740Hippolais (iduna) pallida                   
BA439Hippolais olivetorum                   
BA252Hirundo daurica                   
BA252Hirundo daurica                   
BA251Hirundo rustica                   
BA251Hirundo rustica                   
BA617Ixobrychus minutus minutus                   
BA233Jynx torquilla                   
BA338Lanius collurio                   
BA339Lanius minor                   
BA433Lanius nubicus                   
BA341Lanius senator                   
BA341Lanius senator                   
BA179Larus (Chroicocephalus) ridibundus    50  50   
BA179Larus (Chroicocephalus) ridibundus    30  30   
BA177Larus (Hydrocoloeus) minutus                   
BA181Larus audouinii                   
BA180Larus genei                   
BA176Larus melanocephalus                   
BA157Limosa lapponica                   
BA614Limosa limosa limosa                   
BA246Lullula arborea                   
BA612Luscinia svecica cyanecula                   
BA230Merops apiaster                   
BA073Milvus migrans                   
BA262Motacilla alba                   
BA261Motacilla cinerea                   
BA260Motacilla flava                   
BA260Motacilla flava                   
BA319Muscicapa striata                   
BA319Muscicapa striata                   
BA768Numenius arquata arquata                   
BA610Nycticorax nycticorax nycticorax                   
BA278Oenanthe hispanica                   
BA277Oenanthe oenanthe                   
BA337Oriolus oriolus                   
BA214Otus scops             
BA094Pandion haliaetus                   
BA771Passer hispaniolensis                   
BA019Pelecanus onocrotalus                   
BA072Pernis apivorus                   
BA392Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmarestii                   
BA391Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis     
BA393Phalacrocorax pygmaeus     
BA151Philomachus pugnax                   
BA663Phoenicopterus roseus                   
BA273Phoenicurus ochruros                   
BA274Phoenicurus phoenicurus                   
BA700Plegadis falcinellus falcinellus    20  20   
BA691Podiceps cristatus cristatus     
BA692Podiceps nigricollis nigricollis     
BA719Porzana parva                   
BA119Porzana porzana                   
BA464Puffinus yelkouan                   
BA249Riparia riparia                   
BA731Sterna (Gelochelidon) nilotica nilotica                   
BA631Sterna (Sternula) albifrons albifrons                   
BA191Sterna (Thalasseus) sandvicensis                   
BA193Sterna hirundo                   
BA210Streptopelia turtur                   
BA440Sylvia rueppelli                   
BA397Tadorna ferruginea                   
BA048Tadorna tadorna                   
BA161Tringa erythropus                   
BA166Tringa glareola    30  30   
BA164Tringa nebularia                   
BA164Tringa nebularia                   
BA165Tringa ochropus                   
BA165Tringa ochropus                   
BA163Tringa stagnatilis                   
BA162Tringa totanus                   
BA162Tringa totanus                   
BA728Vanellus (Hoplopterus) spinosus                   
BA142Vanellus vanellus                   
  • Group: A = Amphibians, B = Birds, F = Fish, I = Invertebrates, M = Mammals, P = Plants, R = Reptiles
  • S: in case that the data on species are sensitive and therefore have to be blocked for any public access enter: yes
  • NP: in case that a species is no longer present in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Type: p = permanent, r = reproducing, c = concentration, w = wintering (for plant and non-migratory species use permanent)
  • Unit: i = individuals, p = pairs or other units according to the Standard list of population units and codes in accordance with Article 12 and 17 reporting (see reference portal)
  • Abundance categories (Cat.): C = common, R = rare, V = very rare, P = present - to fill if data are deficient (DD) or in addition to population size information
  • Data quality: G = 'Good' (e.g. based on surveys); M = 'Moderate' (e.g. based on partial data with some extrapolation); P = 'Poor' (e.g. rough estimation); VP = 'Very poor' (use this category only, if not even a rough estimation of the population size can be made, in this case the fields for population size can remain empty, but the field "Abundance categories" has to be filled in)

3.3 Other important species of flora and fauna (optional)


Population in the site


Group CODE Scientific Name S NP Size Unit Cat. Species Annex Other categories
     MinMax C|R|V|PIVVABCD
A218Athene noctua             
A218Athene noctua             
A067Bucephala clangula                   
A067Bucephala clangula                   
A067Bucephala clangula                   
A726Charadrius dubius curonicus                   
A726Charadrius dubius curonicus                   
A726Charadrius dubius curonicus                   
A289Cisticola juncidis                   
A289Cisticola juncidis                   
A211Clamator glandarius                   
A211Clamator glandarius                   
A207Columba oenas                   
A207Columba oenas                   
A207Columba oenas                   
A687Columba palumbus palumbus                   
A687Columba palumbus palumbus                   
A655Lanius excubitor meridionalis                   
A655Lanius excubitor meridionalis                   
A655Lanius excubitor meridionalis                   
A641Larus fuscus intermedius                   
A641Larus fuscus intermedius                   
A150Limicola falcinellus                   
A150Limicola falcinellus                   
A058Netta rufina                   
A058Netta rufina                   
A058Netta rufina                   
A158Numenius phaeopus                   
A158Numenius phaeopus                   
A158Numenius phaeopus                   
A155Scolopax rusticola                   
A155Scolopax rusticola                   
A306Sylvia hortensis                   
A306Sylvia hortensis                   
A306Sylvia hortensis                   
A690Tachybaptus ruficollis ruficollis    20  20           
A690Tachybaptus ruficollis ruficollis    20  20           
A690Tachybaptus ruficollis ruficollis    20  20           
  • Group: A = Amphibians, B = Birds, F = Fish, Fu = Fungi, I = Invertebrates, L = Lichens, M = Mammals, P = Plants, R = Reptiles
  • CODE: for Birds, Annex IV and V species the code as provided in the reference portal should be used in addition to the scientific name
  • S: in case that the data on species are sensitive and therefore have to be blocked for any public access enter: yes
  • NP: in case that a species is no longer present in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Unit: i = individuals, p = pairs or other units according to the standard list of population units and codes in accordance with Article 12 and 17 reporting, (see reference portal)
  • Cat.: Abundance categories: C = common, R = rare, V = very rare, P = present
  • Motivation categories: IV, V: Annex Species (Habitats Directive), A: National Red List data; B: Endemics; C: International Conventions; D: other reasons


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4.1 General site character

Habitat class % Cover

Total Habitat Cover


Other Site Characteristics

The area is located at the NE part of Attiki, 40km from Athens, at Marathon plain and is fringed by the low-lying mountains of Karoumpalo, Pounta and Drakonera to the north-east. The central part of the site is covered by the remaining part of the once extensive Marathon wetland, which has been suffering from drainage works (canalization) since 1923. The slightly brackish Drakonera spring, located at the foothills of Drakonera hill, today features a reduced discharge evident only during wet periods. A sandy coastal zone extends from east to west at the southern part and Kynossoura peninsula delineates the south-eastern part. A longitudinal zone near Makaria spring of a total surface of 450ha at the western part of the wetland had been until 2004 occupied by a small airport. In 2004 the Olympic Rowing Center was constructed at the area formerly occupied by the airport. A USA military communication base of a total surface of 100 ha had been operating for several years at the central part of the wetland. The Schinias coastal zone consists of sandy-gravelly dunes of Olocene age. Northwards, the swamp area is covered by silty-clayey, and locally sandy, alluvial deposits of the same age. Eastwards, the Mytika’s and Drakonera’s hills consist of the upper-cretaceous marbles of Agia Marina, which are locally covered by scree and talus cones. The area belongs to the broader geographical region of Attiki, and shares its typical climatological conditions. The climate is Mediterranean, with prominent features the dry-hot summers and the mild-rainy winters. The atmosphere’s average annual temperature ranges from 16.5˚C to 19˚C. The coldest month of the year is January, while the hottest months are July and August. Annual precipitation averages around 378mm, while humidity ranges between 59% - 64%. Cloudy days average around 50 annually, while sunny days around 130, giving a total of 2,920 sunlight hours each year. Prior to 1923 the discharge of both Makaria and Drakonera springs had been providing the wetland with slightly brackish water, which was subsequently conducted to the sea via lake Stomi, that formed near the eastern coast of the site. It is estimated that Makaria spring alone had been supplying the wetland with 6-7 millions of cubic meters of water every year. Runoffs from the upstream mountain catchment had been an additional source of water. In order to convert the swamp to agricultural land a drainage channel was constructed in 1923 along the western border of the site. This channel was conducting the Makaria sping waters directly to the sea. Subsequently, a network of flood protection and drainage channels was constructed upstream the wetland, which also drove the flood waters directly into the sea. Secondary flood protection and drainage channels were embedded to that network during the 60’s and the 70’s in order to protect the military installations and the airport, which were meanwhile constructed inside the wetland area. As a result, the wetland’s freshwater supply was restricted to the precipitation received by the plain (which quantified for about 0,7 million of cubic meters of water annually), while at the same time it received significant quantities of sea water both subterraneously and through the superficial communication of Stomi lake. Consequently, the permanent salt lake of Stomi was converted to a seasonal pond and the wetland area shrunk significantly due to the dry conditions and the land reclamation that followed. The remaining wetland was flooded during the rainy season and dried up in the summer. It featured a variable salinity, with salty or brackish water generally dominating most of its parts and the fresh or slightly brackish element being restricted to a small area around Makaria spring, along a drainage ditch west of Drakonera hill and, to a lesser degree, along other drainage channels. The above described hydrological status and changes in land use shaped the former natural habitat type status of the wetland and influenced the site’s sandy coastal zone. As mentioned above, in 2004 the Olympic Rowing Center was constructed at the area formerly occupied by the airport. Inside the Olympic Rowing Centre two artificial water bodies were constructed. The water from Makaria spring is directed, through hydraulic constructions, to the Olympic complex water bodies and then channeled to the central wetland. The following have also taken place: the removal of the airport’s constructions and runway, removal of the idle military installation and area’s soil mitigation, the abolishment of an extensive network of telecommunication antenna mounting structures, which were fragmenting the biotope and heavily disturbing the wild fauna. The construction of the Olympic complex and the permanent presence of two water bodies, channeling fresh/brackish water to the wetland has benefited the National Park’s biodiversity. At least thirty-five bird species were favored, including the strictly protected Aythya nyroca. Furthermore it is observed that the surface area of reedbeds has noticeably increased. Halophytic vegetation occupies the central and most extensive part of the wetland, as a result of the heavy drainage activities and human pressure on the area during the past 80 years. Halophytic communities often form mosaics: salt meadows with Juncus (habitat type 1410) and salt scrubs are intermixed, giving way to glasswort swards (habitat type 1420) near Stomi lake, where the vegetation is established on a substrate of decomposing sea-grasses (mainly Posidonia oceanica). Juncus maritimus is the dominant species, while other characteristic species include Juncus heldreichianus, Limonium narbonense, Aster tripolium, Scirpoides holoshoenus, Scirpus littoralis, Bolboschoenus maritimus (=Scirpus maritimus), Puccinelia distans, Plantago crassifolia. The salt scrub is the main vegetation type, dominated by Sarcocornia perennis (at the lower sites) and Arthrocnemum macrostachyum (at the higher, better aerated sites), while other species participating are Puccinelia festuciformis, P. distans, Limoniun narbonense, L. virgatum, L. bellidifolium, Centaurium spicatum, Suaeda vera, Salsola soda, Atriplex portucaloides. Annual halophilous pioneer communities (habitat type 1310) with Cressa cretica develop along dry channel beds and sometimes in patches with increased salinity that remain inundated longer. Other Saginetea species, such as Spergularia salina, Parapholis incurve, P. filiformis, Salsola soda, appear among the salt scrub but rarely form representative communities. Reedbeds with Phragmites australis and Typha angustifolia (Corine 53.1) occupy chiefly parts of the central and north-western part of the wetland, with evidence that they are expanding. Tamarisk galleries (habitat type 92D0) develop at channel banks and at embankments throughout the wetland and notably at the main channel of Makaria spring with Tamarix tetrandra (mainly at the eastern part) and Tamarix hampeana (mainly at the western part). These two habitats form mosaics at the north-western part of the site. Freshwater aquatic habitats develop at Makaria spring and along its drainage channel. At stagnant waters at the small pond created at Makaria spring Magnopatamion vegetation with Potamogeton nodosus (habitat type 3150) occurs. Along the channel, at slow flowing points, there are floating communities of Apion nodiflori (habitat type 3260) with a benthic mat of Chara (habitat type 3140 is included in 3260). Close to the estuary the flow is not permanent and there develop Potamogeton pectinatus and Nasturtium officinale communities (habitat 3290). Typical communities of the habitat “Mediterranean temporary ponds” (habitat type 3170) have not been identified in the wetland. A single small patch of dwarf pioneer annuals characterized by Crassula sp. and Herniaria hirsute has been located at a road bank (SW part of the site) on sandy, temporarily water logged substrate. Also, small communities with Juncus bufonius, Poa annua, Plantago coronopus develop at small temporary ponds among the juniper matorral at the lower parts of Drakonera. These communities, with the participation of Isoeto-NanoJuncetea species, could be assigned as habitat vegetation (such as Juncus articulatus, Mentha pulegium, Serapias lingua, Centaurium pulchellum, Lotus angustissimus) have been reported from the site. The site’s coastal sandy part maintains successive zones of ammophilous habitats. At a zone of 50 meters from the sea there is only naked sand with loose driftline communities of Cakile maritime, Matthiola tricuspidata, Salsola kali (habitat type 1210), followed by ridges of low embryonic dunes (habitat type 2110) with Elytrigia juncea (=Elymus farctus), Eryngium maritimum, Medicago marina. Pseudorlaya pumila, Lotus halophilus, Allium staticiforme, Rhagadiolus stellatus, Silene colarara also participate in the ammophilous communities. To the western part, closer to the mouth of Makaria channel and in front of the Park’s inhabited zone the structure of the dunes is even more degraded. There develop ammophilous communities with Cyperus capitatus and Sporobolus pungens and a low dune front with Centaurea spinosa. Behind this zone and all along the coast there are low, stabilized dunes, forested with Pinus pinea at the western part and Pinus halepensis at the eastern part (the two pines intermix towards the center). The understory is composed of maquis species, mainly Pistacia lentiscus and also Quercus coccifera, Juniperus phoenicea, Myrtus communis, Rhamnus alaternus, Rubia peregrine, Ruscus aculeatus, Smilax aspera, Asparagus acutifolius and by phryganic species such as Helichrysum stoechas, Phagnalon graecum, Anthyllis hermaniae, Cistus incanus, C. salvifolius, Coridothymus capitatus. The herb layer includes species such as Cyclamen hederifolium, C. graecum, Ophrys lutea, Serapias lingua. A zone at the northern part of the Pinus pinea forest is covered by low to medium height matorral dominated by Pistacia lentiscus (habitat type 2260). Malcolmietalia annual grasslands (habitat type 2230) with dominance of Silene colorata, Anthemis tomentosa, Medicago littoralis, develop mainly at extended patches on mostly flat, stabilized sand of the rear dune at the western part of the site. In the more disturbed zone towards the wetland synanthropic grassland of Stellarietea mediae develops to the expense of the typical dune grassland. Isolated Juniperus oxycedrus ssp. macrocarpa individuals and small stands of Pinus pinea grow at these places. It should be noted that the dune therophytic grasslands of Malcolmietalia (2230) of the site, belonging to the synclass of Thero-Brachypodietea, were previously assigned as habitat type 6220, which is of similar floristic composition. However since these communities are part of the dune system, there are better described as habitat type 2230. In a narrow zone between the embryonic dunes and the forest there are small stands of Juniperus oxycedrus ssp. macrocarpa (habitat type 2250) with Pistacia lentiscus. Pistacia lentiscus formations in sand dunes consist habitat type 2260. These formations most probably constitute remnants of previously well-developed post dunal communities of the type found elsewhere in the Aegean. The Kynosoura peninsula is covered across its greatest part by maquis, medium to high, at places scattered but generally quite thick. Juniperus phoenicea (habitat type 5210) is dominant in most of the stands while other shrubs participating are Pistacia lentiscus, P. terebinthus, Ceratonia siliqua, Olea europaea ssp. oleaster, Ephedra foemina, Quercus coccifera, Rhamnus alaternus, Calicotome villosa, Prunus webbii, Prasium majus. In the herb layer and at openings a multitude of therophytes, grasses and geophytes develop, including the endemics Fritillaria obliqua and Scorzonera crocifolia, as well as some orchids. Phryganas Satureja Juliana, S. nervosa, S. graeca, Euphorbia acanthothamnos, H. stoechas, Phagnalon graecum, Coridothymus capitatus, Teucrium capitatum, T. divaricatum develop in the understory and at openings of the maquis mainly at the western part. At open rocky places with boulders, at the crest of the promontory and also at some slopes Euphorbia dendroides dominates the scrub, growing along with Anagyris foetida, Phlomis fruticosa, Ephedra foemina. At the same sites small chasmophytic communities with Asplenium cetarach, Cheilanthes acrostica, Cosentinia vellea, Umbilicus rupestris develop at rock crevices. The scrub descents the steep slopes over the sea. Juniper matoral of similar composition but generally thinner and lower (due to recent fire and grazing) covers Drakonera hill as well. Chasmophytic vegetation of good representativity develops at a small rock face at the hillcrest. Therophytic grassland patches (Thero-Brachypodietea, habitat type 6220) grow at openings of the scrub but at the flat areas of the foothills Stellarietea and Artemisetea species take over. Schinias wetland has traditionally been an important waterfowl and waterbird migration station. Visitors include Plegadis falcinellus, Botaurus stellaris, several Ardeidae, Rallidae, Ciconiidae, Anatidae, Tringa, Calidris species, as well as numerous birds of prey (mainly Falconidae). Site’s significance has been upgraded after the pre-mentioned interventions to the hydrological regime. Wintering avifauna among others includes the protected Acrocephalus melanopogon. Although small in numbers, the presence of several species of birds of prey at the surrounding hills is significant. These species, which prey on the wetland plain, among others include Circaetus gallicus, Buteo rufinus, Falco peregrinus, Bubo bubo, as well as the more common Buteo buteo, Falco tinunculus, Tyto alba, Otus scops. At the maquis vegetation covering the hillsides protected species typical of this habitat type breed, such as Sylvia hortensis and Sylvia rueppelli. Along the channel’s and the ponds’ banks one can find the reptiles Emys orbicularis, Mauremys caspica, Testudo hermanni, Testudo marginata, Elaphe situla, as well as the endemic fish Pelasgus marathonicus.

4.2 Quality and importance

Schinias wetland is the largest coastal wetland of Attica and one of the largest in eastern Greece. The area is an important stopover during the spring and fall migration when thousands of birds move to their summer and winter grounds respectively. During springtime many wader species rest, refuel and seek shelter in the marshes.

4.3 Threats, pressures and activities with impacts on the site

The most important impacts and activities with high effect on the site

Negative Impacts
RankThreats and pressures [code]Pollution (optional) [code]inside/outside [i|o|b]
Positive Impacts
RankActivities, management [code]Pollution (optional) [code]inside/outside [i|o|b]

Rank: H = high, M = medium, L = low
Pollution: N = Nitrogen input, P = Phosphor/Phosphate input, A = Acid input/acidification,
T = toxic inorganic chemicals, O = toxic organic chemicals, X = Mixed pollutions
i = inside, o = outside, b = both


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5.1 Designation types at national and regional level:

Code Cover [%]

5.2 Relation of the described site with other sites:

Designated at national or regional level:

Type code Site name Type Cover [%]
GR96Ethniko Parko Schinia Marathona*68.53
GR08Zones A1, A2, A3, A4 kai A5 Ethnikou Parkou Schinia - Marathona*52.07

Designated at international level:

Type Site name Type Cover [%]
Other Ethniko Parko Schinia Marathona*68.53
Zones A1, A2, A3, A4 kai A5 Ethnikou Parkou Schinia - Marathona*52.07


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6.1 Body(ies) responsible for the site management:


6.2 Management Plan(s):

An actual management plan does exist:

No, but in preparation

6.3 Conservation measures (optional)

Implementation of the Presidential Decree 395/2000



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