NEWS

Santorini struggles with trash problem

Authorities on Santorini are at a loss of what to do with tons of trash that are accumulating on the streets of the southern Aegean island as government bureaucracy is preventing them from hiring cleaners on short-term contracts.

With the high tourism season looming, Santorini Mayor Nikolaos Zorzos is anxious to clean up the mess quickly and has written to Interior Minister Yiannis Ragousis, stressing that the island needs to recruit at least 60 new staff immediately for street cleaning and sanitation.

It was unclear on Tuesday whether Ragousis had responded to the mayor?s appeal. But sources told Kathimerini that a cabinet decision that would allow the recruitments to go ahead is due to be announced by the end of this week or early next week.

The island of Andros, further north in the Cyclades group, has also had a serious garbage problem since February when a local landfill collapsed and hundreds of tons of trash fell into the sea. Some of this refuse has since floated as far south as the Dodecanese, according to conservationists who have alerted Greek and European environment officials.