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Germany

German Waters Cleaner Than Ever

Outdoor bathing spots in Germany were cleaner than ever in 2004, according to the European Union's annual assessment of water quality in rivers, lakes and coastal areas. 98.7 percent of Germany's Baltic and North Sea beaches met with the EU's cleanliness standards -- up from 97.5 -- and 95.1 percent of the country's inland waterways were up to scratch -- as opposed to 95.4 the previous year. The quality of swimming areas -- which are judged by higher standards -- improved more dramatically, with 91.3 percent of sea beaches meeting the mark -- an increase from 82.7 -- and 83 percent of inland waters reaching the standard -- up from 80.4.

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