Greece Vows to Improve Tanker Checks after Saronic Gulf Oil Spill

The Greek government has promised urgent inspections of small coastal tankers, 11 days after an oil spill from a shipwreck left beaches on Athens’ coastline polluted, and off bounds to swimmers.

The Ministry of Shipping says the unscheduled checks will affect Greek-flagged fuel tankers that are plying domestic waters, which are usually older and less stringently monitored than larger tankers that are used for international transport.

The announcement on Thursday came in the wake of the Sept. 10 sinking of Agia Zoni II, off the island of Salamis, and that had 2,500 tons of fuel on board.

Authorities failed to contain the ensuing leakage, which polluted parts of a 40-kilometer line of coastline that includes the Greek capital’s most popular beaches.