NEWS

23 Greek beaches lose their Blue Flags

The European Union’s Blue Flags, awarded each year to beaches that satisfy criteria ranging from clean water to management of the local environment, were removed from 23 beaches and three marinas in Greece this year, the Hellenic Association for the Protection of Nature said yesterday. After inspections by representatives of the association, which administers the program for the EU in Greece, and the Blue Flag program’s international committee, flags were withdrawn from four beaches on the island of Naxos, six on Skiathos, three on Zakynthos, the Prinos beach on Thasos, Kalamitsi in Preveza, Lefokastro in Magnesia, Selianitika in Achaia, Aghios Constantinos in Fthiotida, Nikitis 2 in Halkidiki, Candia and Iria in the Argolid, and the marinas of Vouliagmeni, Flisvos and Alimos near Athens. The report said also that secret services were investigating the possibility that one of bin Laden’s brothers is in Cyprus and operating offshore companies based in Limassol and Saudi Arabia.