Athens: Toxic hulk is not headed for Piraeus

Athens denied yesterday that a decommissioned French aircraft carrier full of toxic materials is to be brought to Greece to be broken up in a shipbreakers’ yard near Piraeus. Last Friday, a report by Agence France-Presse said the 33,000-ton former flagship of the French fleet was to be broken up «in the port of Piraeus,» after a failed attempt to have the job done in Spain, on behalf of a Spanish firm that bought the hulk from France. The ship contains high levels of asbestos and other toxic chemicals. «We have received no demand for [the Clemenceau] to come to Greece, and obviously we have no desire to receive such a demand,» government spokesman Christos Protopappas said. «There is no indication so far that it is coming to Greece.» Protopappas said the dismantling in Spain had been canceled after local labor unions protested. The ship was yesterday moored off Sicily.