Ship firm told to clean up mess

The shipping firm that owns the Sea Diamond, a cruiser that sank off Santorini last April, must clean up the pollution and raise the wreck or face legal action, Deputy Merchant Marine Minister Panayiotis Kammenos said yesterday. If Louis Hellenic Cruises does not take action «a prosecutor will impound its assets and arrest those responsible,» said Kammenos following talks with local authority officials on Santorini. According to the deputy minister, proposed plans for clearing up the leaked fuel and raising the wreck could be executed in 40 days. Louis Hellenic Cruises responded to the appeal, stressing that an effective pollution cleanup in the area was not feasible and that an attempt to raise the vessel could provoke a much larger fuel spill. It claimed that the shipwreck was the fault of inaccurate maps of the area and not the firm’s responsibility. The company has been fined 2.5 million euros for causing pollution and failing to take remedial action.