Inhabitants living in the vicinity of the River Nestos and environmental organisations in the area have complained that the section of the river on Greek territory has once again been filled with large quantities of waste originating on the Bulgarian side. This is a regularly repeated occurrence following heavy rainfall when the areas around the dam at Thisavros are swamped by huge quantities of refuse, pesticide cans, hospital materials, tyres etc. emanating from Bulgaria. The Greek authorities have repeatedly raised the matter with the Bulgarian side and meetings have taken place at prefectural and regional level between the two countries but with no result. It should be noted that more than 200 000 hectares of arable land are irrigated by the waters of the River Nestos!
Is the Commission aware of the magnitude of the problem and in what way will it exert pressure on the neighbouring country to compel it to honour its commitments to implement the directives on the protection of surface waters and the environment and put an end to the pollution of the River Nestos? Is there any possibility of immediate funding for a programme to monitor contamination levels in the River Nestos in order to control and deal with the pollution emanating from the Bulgarian side?