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Tourism

After Surprise Inspections, 15 Greek Beaches Lose Prized Blue Flags

The valued Blue Flag award was stripped from 15 Greek beaches after local and international inspectors paid surprise visits and found that while the water was pristine, that other conditions to be qualified were not.

The Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature (EEPF) revealed the list of the beaches that lost the coveted designation  used by tourists and travel agencies in picking areas to visit, all the more critical during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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, the program’s coordinator for Greece, said the Blue Flags were removed after the spot inspections found that coastal managers were not fulfilling the imperative criteria required, reported GTP Headlines.

That included failing to to maintain the required cleanliness of the beaches and protect the environment and not providing necessary information, services and safety to bathers.

The EEPF said it proceeded with the withdrawal of the blue flags from the 15 beaches in order to preserve the prestige and credibility of the institution despite the likely harm it would bring to the beaches.

The destination that lost the most Blue Flags for not upkeeping beaches was Katerini of the regional unit of Pieria.

The flags were revoked for:

– Tolo Beach (Nafplio, Argolida)

– Kondyli Beach (Nafplio, Argolida)

– Kiani Akti (Alexandroupolis, Evros)

– Alykanas 1 Beach (Zakynthos, Ionian Islands)

– Alykes 1 Beach (Zakynthos, Ionian Islands)

– Gialiskari Beach (Kea Island)

– Otzias Beach (Kea Island)

– Koundouros Beach (Kea Island)

– Aragia Poros Beach (Argostoli, Kefalonia Island)

– Kallithea Beach (Katerini, Pieria)

– Peristasi Beach (Katerini, Pieria)

– Olympiaki Beach (Katerini, Pieria)

– Paralia Beach (Katerini, Pieria)

– Korinos Beach (Katerini, Pieria)

– Agios Mamas Beach (Nea Propontida, Halkidiki)

A total of 545 beaches in Greece were honored with the quality Blue Flag award for 2021. After the 15 beached lost their Blue Flag status, 530 beaches in the country now display the eco-label, the site also said.

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