Pollution still flows in Asopos

The Asopos River in Viotia, central Greece, is still in a dire state, despite a court ruling on Tuesday imposing fines and suspended jail sentences on the employees of firms that polluted the river. «The river is still dirty. It is aubergine-colored and stinks,» biochemist and head of the Regional Development and Environment Institute told Kathimerini. «The water that we drink is full of chromium. The problem will not end with a court ruling.» Six of the 18 people on trial were found guilty but 10 of the accused were let off due to an administrative blunder: Authorities had failed to check that the people on trial were the legal representatives of their companies from 2001 to 2003, the period that the trial focused on. Recent tests on the water of the Asopos by the General Chemical State Laboratory found that the level of chromium and chlorides in the river were above permissible levels and had risen since the last readings were taken. «We are not against industry – these factories have helped our area – but we do not want them to poison us,» said Thanassis Gialouris, deputy mayor of Oinofyta.

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