Economy

Athens: Oil from tanker's sinking prompts beach warnings

Athens: Oil from tanker's sinking prompts beach warnings”

"The prime minister should accept his resignation", Mitsotakis said, as Kouroublis claimed that "the entire affair will be forgotten in a few days". He reiterated his call on Twitter, accompanied by photos showing the ongoing cleanup efforts along the capital's coast.

"We went to the beach and saw several ships, we heard a tanker had sunk", they said.

The tanker sank while it was anchored off Salamina under circumstances that are yet unclear.

"How can a ship sink in the harbour in mild conditions?" wondered Mitsotakis. Mayor Giorgos Papanikolaou said 28 tonnes of fuel had been removed from one beach alone.

The Salamis Municipality said the oil had reached the beaches of Kinosoura and Selinia. "The currents moved the oil spill". The European Union has also contributed a cleanup vessel to assist in eliminating the oil.

"A giant operation is under way", he told state agency ANA.

"If a small relative leak causes such a disaster next to the country's largest port and the operational center of the Ministry of Mercantile Marine, what exactly is the country's ability to cope with spills and accidents from large-scale oil activities in the Ionian Sea and the Cretan Sea?" asked Takis Gregoriou, the head of the campaign for climate change and energy at Greenpeace's Greek office, in a statement.

Merchant marine officials said initial emphasis had been placed on sealing the vessel's cargo holds in order to stop any further leakage. The "black tide" has since drifted around the Saronic Gulf towards some of Athens's most lovely beaches, with many environmentalist and wildlife groups pointing the blame towards the authorities for not acting fast enough.

Mayors of affected coastal areas were threatening to take legal action over the pollution.

Critics, however, have accused the government of not acting quickly enough prevent the spill from spreading from Salamina across the coastline.

He announced on Facebook that he planned to sue those responsible for the environmental damage, though he did not identify who that would be.

The ship's captain and engineer were arrested following the incident and later released, the Hellenic Coast Guard reported.



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