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PM Tsipras replaces chiefs of Fire Service, Police over Athens wildfires tragedy

In an extraordinary meeting of the Greece’s Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence (KYSEA) on Sunday afternoon, the chiefs of the Fire Service and the Police were replaced. The decision comes 14 days after the deadly wildfires where at least 90 people lost their lives in an area just 30 km away from Athens.

New Chief of Fire Service is Lt General Vassileios Mathaiopoulos and new chief of Police Lt General Aristeidis Andrikopoulos. Until their new posts they were both deputy chiefs in the respective service.

A statement issued by the Prime Minister’s office said that the replacement of the General Secretary of Civil Protections will take place in the next days.

KYSEA is Greece’s supreme decision-making body to which the Prime Minister several cabinet ministers as well as the Chief of the General Staff participate.

On a joint press conference three days after the disaster, Fire Service chief K. Tsouvalas and Police Chief S. Terdoudis had claimed they could not find any operational mistakes.

The replacement of the top-ranking officials at the three institutions in charge of combating the wildfires in Athens and protecting the population was considered a must due to increasing hints -and possible evidence – that things were not “properly done” as it should be.

Minister of Public Protection Nikos Toskas resigned on Friday.

The Prosecutor in Athens continues the investigation.

More KTG reports on Athens Wildfires here.

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