In an effort to promote Greek beaches as some of the cleanest and most beautiful in the world, the City of Athens awarded what the public considered the country’s best beaches. Voting was on an international basis through the Internet site www.thalassa. gr. Votes came from 45 countries during the period June, 2002 till July 2003. The first place award was picked up by Porto Katsiki, Lefkada, followed by Koukounaries, Magnesias, and Mirtos, Kefalonias.
Meanwhile, some 1.1 million euros, 240,000 euros for Attica alone, have been made available to municipalities to clean up the country’s beaches.
Environment and Public Works Minister Vasso Papandreou said last month that work on Attica’s coast for the Olympic Games would make Athens beaches attractive once more.
The ministry is also working with 50 municipalities with the support of the Sunday Vima newspaper on a two-phase pilot program over the summer to encourage people, mostly youths over 17, to take part in environmental action such as cleaning beaches and parks.
“We need programs like these if we want to make people care about the city, the sea and the country,” said Ms. Papandreou.