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Eight Greek Beaches Lose 2018 ‘Blue Flag’ Award

Photo from the 2018 Blue Flag ceremony in May. Source: Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature (EEPF)

Photo from the 2018 Blue Flag ceremony in May. Source: Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature (EEPF)

Eight beaches in Greece that had received the quality “Blue Flag” award in May were dropped from the 2018 list, the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature (EEPF) said on Tuesday.

The “Blue Flag” is a voluntary eco-label awarded to beaches across the world and is run by the independent, non-profit organization Foundation for Environmental Education based in Copenhagen. The EEPF is the program’s coordinator for Greece.

According to the EEPF, the coastal managers of the eight beaches, located on some of Greece’s hotspots such as Rhodes, Chania and Andros, were found to not be fulfilling the imperative criteria required.

“The quality of bathing water at the beaches in question remains excellent. However, EEPF evaluators and international evaluators, who made unannounced inspections, found serious shortcomings in the mandatory criteria,” the EEPF said in an announcement.

The unannounced inspections revealed that coastal managers had failed to provide the required services to bathers and visitors, cleanliness, good information, ensure the safety of bathers and visitors and also carry out actions to protect the coastal environment. The EEPF then proceeded with the withdrawal of the blue flags from the eight beaches in order to preserve the prestige and credibility of the institution.

The ‘Blue Flag’ award of the following coasts were revoked for 2018:

Location: Andros
Beaches: Agios Petros, Chryssi Ammos

Location: Pieria (Central Macedonia)
Beaches: Leptokarya 1, Plaka-Mylos Coast, Platamonas 1, Skotina

Location: Rhodes
Beach: East Aquarium

Location: Chania, Crete
Beach: Kalathas

A total of 519 beaches, 15 marinas and one sustainable tourism boat were honored with the quality “Blue Flag” award in Greece for 2018. However, with 38 beaches losing their ‘Blue Flag’ status in July and another eight losing it in September, now 473 Greek beaches have the quality “Blue Flag” award.

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