Sea Diamond faces legal threat

GREECE.

Sea Diamond's owner has been warned of severe financial and legal repercussions if it abandons the oil-leaking wreck at Santorini's sea bottom. Last month Louis Hellenic Cruises said it had finished cleaning up the area of the accident that took place in April 2007. Speaking yesterday, Greek shipping deputy minister Panos Kammenos threatened Louis with arrest of its representatives and assets. "If they withdraw the clean-up company, then they will have committed the crime of willful cause of wreck and pollution," he said, adding that the administration had the means to force Louis to meet the cost of the wreck removal. Louis responded by stressing that pumping the remaining oil from the hull was not technically feasible and that an attempt to raise the wreck might cause a larger fuel spill. The company has denied responsibility for the accident, blaming it on faulty maps.

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