FYROM delivers water boost to Lake Doirani

DOJRAN (AFP) – The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski yesterday turned the tap on a water system project designed to refill lake Dojran (Doirani in Greek), one of FYROM’s main tourist attractions. The 45-square-kilometer (28-square-mile) lake, which straddles the border with Greece, has seen its water level fall by 5 meters (16 feet) over the last 20 years, with FYROM blaming overexploitation by Greek farmers. The new aqueduct project, which cost 12.5 million euros, links the lake with the Gjavacko Polje water catchment basin to the north. «The lake would have been empty in 15 years… but now it will be refilled in three years,» said Georgievski, who appealed to Greece to take action on its side of the border to protect the lake. FYROM Environment Minister Marjan Dodovski said the aqueduct meant «the end of an ecological catastrophe.» Some progress has, no doubt, been made as far as the issue of terrorism is concerned… but the case is too complex to allow one to say with certainty that PASOK and Simitis will gain direct political benefits. What emerged from Simitis’s comments on terrorism-related issues was undoubtedly the embarrassment felt by the left – and the government in particular – at the remarks of Dimitris Koufodinas, a chief operative of November 17 who turned himself in to the police on Thursday, who said terrorist activity aspired to the creation of a «socialist society.»

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