Garbage woes mount ahead of EU check

Some 6,000 tons of rotting trash festered on the streets of Thessaloniki yesterday amid sweltering temperatures, as residents protesting the alleged dumping of toxic waste at a local landfill blocked its entrance for a third day. With a visit by European Union inspectors looming, local authority officials met with residents of the Municipality of Assyros on Thursday night in a bid to break the deadlock. Despite pledges by authorities to intensify inspections at the Mavrorachi landfill, which protesters claim is being used as a dump for toxic hospital waste, residents said they would continue their blockade, barring garbage trucks from the site. As a stopgap measure, a shipping container and three garbage trucks are being used to hold some of the trash. But it is unclear what will be done if the landfill remains closed. There were reports of some of the waste being transferred to a landfill in Larissa, central Greece.