Greek PM approves 500 million euro budget for wildfire relief, reforestation

  • World
  • Tuesday, 10 Aug 2021

FILE PHOTO: Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis addresses the media as he arrives on the first day of the European Union summit at The European Council Building in Brussels, Belgium June 24, 2021. John Thys/Pool via REUTERS

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Monday he had approved a supplemental budget of 500 million euros ($587 million) to fund relief and compensation for people who have lost homes and property in wildfires that have hit the country.

"The extent of the destruction blackens our hearts, I apologise for the losses," Mitsotakis said in a televised address, promising his government would stand by all those hurt by the blazes.

Firefighters on the ground and from the air were still battling to halt wildfires on the island of Evia, Greece's second largest near Athens, as they threatened to engulf the town of Istiaia in the north of the island.

Strong winds fuelled flare-ups on the island after the fires appeared to ease earlier on Monday. Water-bombing aircraft struggled to operate because of the large plumes of smoke blanketing the area, authorities said.

"Those who lost homes and property will be compensated. The burned areas will be reforested," Mitsotakis pledged.

The government's relief measures will be detailed after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Mitsotakis said government services had to deal with 586 wildfires "in all corners of Greece" amid a heatwave. He thanked countries that sent assistance and the many volunteers who helped firefighting efforts.

He said possible failings would be investigated. Angry Greeks are criticising the government's response to the devastation.

"The climate crisis is knocking on the door of the entire planet," he said.

($1 = 0.8516 euros)

(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Mark Potter)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In World

Earthquake of magnitude 4.8 strikes Bali, kills three
NASA to launch first space probe to study Jupiter's Trojan asteroids
ASEAN excludes Myanmar junta leader from summit in unprecedented move
Australian police seize record $104 million heroin shipment
U.S. offers payments, relocation to family of Afghans killed in botched drone attack
British police says murder of lawmaker declared as a terrorist incident
U.S. will accept mixed doses of vaccines from international travelers
Brazil pandemic probe to recommend Bolsonaro face 11 criminal charges, senator says
Two deaths shine spotlight on violence against women in Kenya
Shots fired in robbery attempt near Mexico City airport, suspect dead

Others Also Read