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Greece seeks to move toxic waste from ancient mining site

by Staff Writers
Athens (AFP) April 5, 2011
Greek authorities are planning to move about 150 tons of toxic waste from a mining site south of Athens from which ancient Greece extracted its wealth, the environment ministry said on Tuesday.

The ministry said it was "cooperating with local authorities to find a secure site" for the waste, remnants of 19th and 20th century exploitation of the Lavrion mines.

According to the daily Ethnos newspaper, an Athens prosecutor responsible for environmental issues has opened a probe of possible negligence in storing the waste, kept in barrels in a building dating from 1960.

Greek authorities were alerted to the dangers through a study done by an Athens engineering school, which warned of its potential instability in case of an earthquake. Greece experiences about half the seismic activity of all Europe.

The ancient mining site has been converted into a technological and cultural park near the Lavrion port.

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