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European Environment Agency: Greece Among Top Destinations for Swimming

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Greece has remained among the top three countries in Europe for the excellent quality of its bathing waters, according to the 2021 European Bathing Water Quality report.

Released by the European Environment Agency (EEA), this annual assessment of European bathing sites shows how well environmental protection measures are implemented.

Based on 2021 data, Greece holds on to the same position as in 2020 – ranking third in Europe with 95.8 percent of all 1.683 sites reported as being of “excellent” quality.

Quality of European bathing waters remains high

Bathing water quality in the EU remains high. Since the adoption of the Bathing Water Directive in 2006, the share of excellent sites has grown continuously; in 2021, it represented 84.8 percent  of bathing sites in the EU. The minimum water quality standards were met at 95.2 percent  of sites.

Austria ranks first in the 2021 European Bathing Water Quality report with 97.7 percent of the 261 reported bathing waters being of excellent quality.

Malta is second with 96.6 percent; Croatia fourth with 95,7 percent; and Cyprus fifth with 93.3 percent.

Source: WISE bathing water quality database (data from 2021 annual reports by EU Member States [1], Albania and Switzerland).

Share of poor quality sites drops in 2021

The share of poor-quality sites has dropped since 2013. In 2021, poor bathing waters constituted 1.5 percent of all sites in the EU, compared to 2 percent in 2013. This shows improvements in the management of poor bathing sites in Europe.

The highest numbers of bathing sites with poor water quality were found in Hungary (60.2 percent), Slovakia (50 percent) and Poland (44.5 percent of all sites).

The EEA report clarifies that in Poland, only 423 out of 672 bathing waters were quality assessed which explains the low proportion of excellent quality in this country.

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