The overwhelming majority of Greek beaches, rivers and lakes (93 percent) have very high water quality, according to an annual report published on Tuesday by the European Environment Agency (EEA) which ranked Greece fifth in the 28-member European Union.
All bathing sites in Cyprus and Luxembourg were deemed “excellent,” as were those of Malta, which ranked third with 99 percent.
Croatia and Greece followed, scoring 95 percent and 93 percent respectively.
At the other end of the scale, EU member states with the highest proportion of poor-quality bathing sites were Estonia, which scored 6 percent, the Netherlands with 5 percent, Belgium with 4 percent and France, Spain, and Ireland, each with 3 percent.
Commenting on the findings of the EEA, which monitors water quality at some 22,000 bathing sites across the EU, Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik said they were encouraging but warned against complacency.
“We must continue to ensure that our bathing and drinking water as well as our aquatic ecosystems are fully protected.”