Greece in more trouble with EC

The European Commission said yesterday it will refer 10 member states, including Greece, to the European Court for failing to meet the July 22 deadline for the incorporation into national legislation directives relating to safe navigation and the prevention of sea pollution. The two directives in question, adopted in December 2001 after the disaster of the tanker Erika, aim to institute stricter checks on potentially hazardous vessels both by their countries of registration and the authorities in the ports they visit. They also establish safety standards and rules for preventing sea pollution and living conditions on vessels. «It is necessary for these measures to be fully implemented. The Commission will make every effort to ensure that another possible disaster, such as that of Prestige (off the coast of Spain last November), will not affect Community seas and coasts,» said Transport Commissioner Loyola de Palacio. Of the 10 countries being referred, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Finland and Luxembourg failed to incorporate both directives. The Commission also once more issued a list of 112 ships which will be banned from EU ports if they are caught once again having fallen below safety standards. The list features a number of Greek-owned vessels, including ferries Superferry I and Paloma. Ten member states, including Greece, are also shortly to receive a warning for failing to meet yesterday’s deadline for incorporating EU legislation on the deregulation of the electronic telecommunications market. The new framework aims to promote competition and the protection of users’ privacy and personal data.

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