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Greek PM promises immediate aid to fire victims, apologizes half-hearten

With half-hearten “apologies” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis addressed the nation on Monday evening promising measures and support to the fire-stricken people and destroyed eocnomies. He apologized over possible failures in tackling devastating blazes, said that those responsible will be held to account that burned areas will be reforested and those affected compensated.

He announced a special allocation of 500 million euros from the state budget for Attica Region and Evia island to immediately help residents who lost homes and businesses in wildfires this week.

In a televised message, Mitsotakis said this support would be added to the EU Recovery Fund* that will be channeled directly to the reforestation of these regions.

He said  that he is “sorry for any weaknesses that may have occurred” over the handling of the fires, and asserted that mistakes would be reviewed and responsibilities leveled.

Referring to repeated appeals by residents of Evia villages for help with the fires reported by the media, he said he understood the anger, and the “angry questioning of those seeking air assistance, without knowing if the firefighting aircraft were operating elsewhere, or if local flight conditions were prohibitive” to flying.

The prime minister noted that Greece was dealing with an unprecedented natural disaster, with 586 wildfires lighting up within a week, and the difficulty of putting them out.

He said registration of damages had already begun, and a new platform to be set up would allow those who lost property to directly apply for aid without the obstacle of bureaucracy.

He also noted that of the funds expected from the EU, 1.8 billion euros would be allocated to Civil Protection, and particularly prevention. The program will be supervised directly by his office, he said.

Wrapping up, he said that as prime minister he had faced several crises in the first 25 months of his government – including high tensions with Turkey at the border and in the East Mediterranean, the coronavirus pandemic, and the vaccination program, all of which seemed insurmountable at the time.

“But we overcame all with persistence and unity, and this will happen now, with bold decisions that will change a lot,” he said.

+++ Media report late on Monday that the government will give 20,000 euros compensation for every burned house

PS Now all opposition parties lash out at him and many Greeks on social media do the same. In several villages in North Evia people probably did not comment as they are still struggling against the flames also tonight.

Image

A forest no money can buy. (pict by @tony_rgps shot in N Evia on Sunday.)

A life that no money can buy too.

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One comment

  1. ah! a new platform! thats what thie country needs, right? more online platforms!! that’s all this pathetic clown knows how to do, is it? destroy the country, sell the rubble to ‘investors’, and throw up ‘online platforms’ as the replacement for civil society?
    Prison for every member of this government!