Greece unveils first "green" island

Greece unveils first "green" islandAthens  - The tiny Greek island of Agios Efstratios located in the Aegean Sea would soon become the country's first "green" island, entirely powered by renewable energy sources, Development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said Thursday.

The island's 250 residents would use only solar- and wind- generated energy and move around the 43.3-square-kilometre island, located north-west of Limnos on bicycles and in electric cars.

According to Hatzidakis, the 10-million-euro (13-million-dollar) project would go into effect by 2010 and serve as an international model.

The island's residents are reportedly thrilled at the idea, with one inhabitant telling Greek radio that "our island will soon become paradise."

Residents on the islands of Nisiros and Tilos have also expressed interest in being powered by renewable energy.

Known for its sandy beaches, Agios Efstratios is included in the European Union's Natura 2000 network of nature protected areas due to its well-preserved ecosystem. Much of the coastline is dotted by cragged rocks and sea caves where the Mediterranean seal Monachus monachus finds shelter. (dpa)

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