Tsipras attempts to shift attention to apparent growth in the economy following oil spill
Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras is heading to Crete as he continues to talk up growth in an attempt to hide his government’s incompetence following the recent oil spill in the Saronic Gulf last week. Experts have warned that the environmental disaster could linger on for several years.
The PM will be speaking in Iraklio at the latest regional conference organised by the government. However, the coalition is struggling to escape from the damage inflicted by the sinking of a tanker off Salamina, which released some 300 tons of fuel oil into the sea. There are accusations that authorities have been too slow. SYRIZA’s spokesman, Nikos Xydakis, even tried to shift the blame on the Shipping Ministry.
A marine science professor, Michalis Karidis, painted a more realistic picture when he told the Kathimerini that it would be some time before the sea around Attiki’s coast will be deemed safe to swim in again: “I think people will be able to swim in these areas again next year, as long as the beaches have been cleaned. From major accidents in the past, we have seen that it usually takes between three and five years for the ecosystem to recover,” he said.