Greece suffering from widespread polluting

A Greek government report says the tendency of the nation's manufacturers to discharge largely unprocessed toxic wastes is irreversibly damaging waterways.

The study, released Monday by the Hellenic Environmental Inspectorate, said the polluting is showing no signs of abating, despite EU pressure, the Ektherimerini reported. The Inspectorate has proposed the imposition of $2.7 million in fines.

Of the 145 inspections conducted by the inspectorate last year, the most common violations were inadequate waste processing (42.7 percent), the lack of a valid operating license (15.5 percent) and illegal activities in protected areas (10.9 percent), the Ektherimerini said.

The report expressed concern about water quality in several areas, including the Asopos River in Viotia; water wells in Koropi; the Kalamas River in Thesprotia, which was described as a "sewer pipe;" the heavily industrialized Thracian Plain area, which lacks an adequate waste-disposal system for some 120,000 residents in four cities; and Athens International Airport for allegedly failing to adequately process its waste before discharging it.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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