Koroneia plan to speed up

Authorities in Thessaloniki are planning to call on Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis to help speed up an 80-million-euro project to protect Lake Koroneia after the city’s prefect, Panayiotis Psomiadis, admitted that the scheme had been held up by red tape. Psomiadis held an emergency meeting of health and environment officials after some 200 birds were found dead at the lake, some 20 kilometers east of Thessaloniki. The birds were killed by a combination of toxic cyanobacteria, according to initial tests. Following the death of some 30,000 birds at the lake in 2004, a plan to protect Koroneia was drawn up by authorities but has not been implemented. «Everybody is responsible for the state of Koroneia,» said Psomiadis. «The work of restoring the lake is a very difficult task. There have been delays with EU funding, at the ministries and at the prefecture, which is missing 60 percent of the staff it should have,» said the Thessaloniki prefect.