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Less hiding of unhygienic bathing sites

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Less hiding of unhygienic bathing sites

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This year’s picture on bathing water quality around Europe has been blurred less than usual. The report presented by the European Commission says that more than nine out of ten coastal and inland sites met EU hygiene standards in 2007. But again, member states continued to duck official scrutiny by removing sites from the test list, even though this trend was slightly less than in previous years. About two thirds of the total sites tested were coastal, and one third inland. Countries delisted 143 bathing sites from their lineup of those subject to EU directive standards. This was a 44% decrease in delisting. Physical, chemical and microbiological parameters are supposed to be checked. Brussels says Member States must tackle pollution problems at source. It said simply leaving sites uncounted is not good enough. In 2006 the Commission opened infringement cases against 11 countries for excessive de-listing.