Green rage at Acheloos plan

The country’s six major conservation groups yesterday issued a joint statement condemning the promotion by Environment and Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias of a project to divert the waters of the Acheloos River in western Greece to the heavily farmed Thessaly Plain, accusing the government of squandering dwindling water reserves and funds. In the statement, WWF Hellas, Greenpeace and other groups dispute Souflias’s claims that the project will solve Thessaly’s irrigation problem and claim instead that it will «become an alibi for the continuation of the catastrophic water management and unacceptable agricultural practices that have been undermining the Thessaly Plain for years.» The statement added that Souflias «had christened the project as environmentally sound,» noting that the European Commission has refused to fund the diversion since 1994. Souflias yesterday described the conservationists’ claims as «inaccurate and unsubstantiated.»

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