Greek gov’t pledges support to fire-stricken areas

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The Greek government has pledged its full support to fire-stricken areas of the country, with several wildfires continuing to rage on Monday, reported Xinhua.

"We will rebuild all that was lost, compensate those affected," Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said during a debate in parliament, according to Greece's national news agency AMNA.

While welcoming his Bulgarian counterpart Nikolai Denkov, who is currently visiting Athens, Mitsotakis also thanked Bulgaria for helping Greece to battle the devastating forest fires that hit the country in July.

"These are (…) unfortunately the real consequences of climate change. We have another difficult summer ahead of us, but we are doing the best we can," Mitsotakis said.

There were no casualties, but forested areas and residential zones were damaged during the more than 500 fires which have broken out nationwide in the past 12 days, said Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias.

As well as climate change, many fires are still caused by arson or criminal negligence, Kikilias said.

Therefore, fines for causing fire by criminal negligence will be increased, and the personnel of the Arson Crimes Directorate will be doubled.

According to the latest update from the Fire Service, firefighters were still battling for a seventh day three fronts on Rhodes Island in southeastern Greece. Nearly 20,000 people, including many tourists, were evacuated as a precautionary measure from a dozen settlements and seaside resorts in the area during the weekend.

Four more settlements were evacuated on Monday, as winds measuring up to seven on the Beaufort scale were blowing in the region.

Fire-fighting forces faced similar difficult weather conditions on the southern part of Evia Island, where a fire broke out on Sunday, and settlements were also evacuated on Monday.

However, the situation was improving on Monday in the north-east of the island of Corfu, the Fire Service said.

Some 2,000 locals and tourists who were evacuated on Sunday were gradually returning to their homes and hotels on Monday, according to AMNA.

Since last week, Greece has been experiencing one of its worst heatwaves in decades, with temperatures reaching up to 45 degrees Celsius. After a short respite on Monday, the high temperatures were forecast to continue on Tuesday and Wednesday, meteorologists said.

  •  Greece
  •  Wildfire


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