NEWS

Dry taps alarm locals on Aegina

Residents on the island of Aegina, just southwest of Athens, staged a sit-in at the Town Hall yesterday to protest what they describe as a severe water shortage on the island at the peak of the tourism season. The company that transports fresh water to Aegina, in the Saronic Gulf, has cut supplies to the popular tourist destination due to money owed to it by the local municipality. Aegina Mayor Dimitris Mourtis rejected the excuse yesterday, saying that the amount involved is minimal and accused the transporter of using blackmail tactics. In a bid to help ease the problem, the navy lent a hand over the weekend transporting some 1,600 tons of fresh water to the island. Mourtis said that arrangements had been made for four more ships to transport water to Aegina yesterday but would not comment on whether more shipments could be expected in the coming days. Reports as to the severity of the problem have been mixed. Residents in parts of the beachside areas said yesterday that they have no problem and that water supplies are normal.