Greeks fish for help with Evros

Greek officials have asked Bulgarian authorities to help re-establish a bilateral committee of experts that was set up more than 35 years ago to monitor the Evros River and prevent flood damage, sources told Kathimerini yesterday. Greece is unhappy with the lack of action on the Bulgarian side in recent years to limit the amount of water flowing south along the river. Some 24,000 hectares of land in northeastern Greece was flooded last week when the Evros overflowed – the worst floods in the area in over 40 years. Sofia and Athens have been cooperating on the issue since 1970 and Greece has given some 30 million euros to the Bulgarians over the last 25 years to improve their flood protection facilities. Bulgaria is suspected of benefiting from having high water levels by using them to produce electricity at its dams. Greece is now demanding that it at least be better informed of imminent floods so it can evacuate areas that are in danger. Athens hopes the re-formation of the bilateral committee, which first met in 1971, will help.