New plan may not hold water

Four years after missing a European Union deadline for meeting quality standards for its lakes, rivers and underwater reserves, Greece has finally created a viable system for monitoring its bodies of water but the pending merger of state bodies threatens to scupper the project from going ahead, Kathimerini has learned.

The Government Gazette last week published a biministerial decision paving the way for the creation of a national network to monitor the quality and size of Greek water reserves with the aim of combating pollution and drought.

The problem is that the two state bodies that had been tasked with running the network — the Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration (IGME) and the Hellenic Center for Marine Research (HCMR) — might cease to exist due to the government?s plans to merge and abolish state companies as part of a broader cost-cutting drive.

Andreas Andreadakis, a general secretary at the Environment Ministry, told Kathimerini that 25 million euros in EU funding already had been set aside for the project.