River diversion project gets green light to go ahead

River diversion project gets green light to go ahead

A contentious project aimed at diverting Greece’s second-longest river, the Acheloos, from western Greece to the heavily farmed Plain of Thessaly, will go ahead after all, it was decided on Saturday following a meeting of State Minister Giorgos Gerapetritis and the head of Parliament’s public administration committee Maximos Harakopoulos.

In comments after the meeting, Harakopoulos said government officials will chair a meeting with representatives of the local community in Thessaly “to record the state of affairs and proposals for solutions.”

The meeting is to take place on Thursday at the Maximos Mansion and will involve Environment Minister Kostis Hatzidakis, Infrastructute Minister Kostas A. Karamanlis, Agriculture Minister Makis Voridis as well as all the mayors of the Thessaly region.

Launched more than 20 years ago, the Acheloos project has been overturned several times by the Council of State and was frozen by the leftist SYRIZA government in 2016.

According to Harakopoulos, the project is crucial to avert the desertification of Thessaly. The green light for it to proceed was a “historic development,” he said.

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