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Beaches stripped of Blue Flags

Greece Blue Flag awards 2013

Beaches stripped of Blue Flags.

Holiday beaches on the Greek islands of Corfu, Crete, Samos and Lesvos have been stripped of their coveted Blue Flag awards. It follows spot checks by coastal inspectors that confirmed standards have not been up to scratch over the summer holiday season. make up the bulk of losers with six among a Greek total of 13 that are no longer allowed to fly the Blue Flag.

Corfu beaches to lose their Blue Flags this year are at Agios Ioannis Peristeron, Agios Stefanos, Avlaki, Astrakeri, Moraitika and the famous Canal D 'Amour beach at Sidari.

The two beaches on Samos to lose Blue Flag status are the island's main south coast tourist beaches at Pythagorio and Pototaki.

Lesvos and Crete loses awards for beaches at Vatera and Agia Galini while the island of Chios has two beaches dropped and Thessaloniki loses Blue Flag status for its beach at Aggelhori.

A total of 393 beaches and nine marinas in Greece and the Greek Islands picked up the quality "Blue Flag" awards this year, down just one on the previous year.

The cull of 13 takes that down to 380 which still leaves Greece ranked second behind Spain for the quality of its beach resorts.

To get a Blue Flag award a beach must meet 32 strict criteria including quality of seawater, cleanliness, organization of the swimming area, safety of bathers and protection of the environment.

Corfu was among the leading Blue Flag award with 35 making the grade. That now drops to 29.

Greece comes second of 49 countries for its clean holiday beaches named by an International Jury which has awarded Blue Flags to 3,103 beaches and 626 marinas worldwide this year.

To get a Blue Flag award a beach must meet 32 strict criteria including quality of seawater, cleanliness, organization of the swimming area, safety of bathers and protection of the environment.

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