ing the decline of 0.9 percent noted in April. The headline figure is the highest year-on-year rise in permits since December 2005. A total of 1,237 were issued in May, above the 1,000 mark for a third consecutive month. The corresponding surface area also expanded, increasing by 72.2 percent, while volume was up 50.9 percent compared to the same month in 2016. On a regional basis, there was an increase in the number of building permits in 12 out of 13 regions recorded. The biggest rise was registered in the northern Aegean, where the number of permits increased by 162.5 percent, followed by the south Aegean (+117 percent) and Epirus (+96.6 percent). The only region where there were fewer permits was in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, where the to-
Greece’s Shipping Ministry and the General Secretariat for the Aegean and Island Policy have signed an 870,000-euro contract for the construction of a desalination plant on the remote Dodecanese island of Kastellorizo. Officials said the facility, whose construction is expected to start later this year, will produce at least 40,000 cubic meters of water annually – enough to cover the requirements of the island’s population of around 500. The project is expected to sharply reduce the cost of supplying water to the island, which lies close to Turkey’s southwestern coast. To date the island has been dependent on water brought in by boat.