Greek opposition leaders come down hard on gov’t over wildfires’ handling

Greek opposition leaders come down hard on gov’t over wildfires’ handling

Hundreds of firefighters, assisted by helicopters and planes, fighting raging blaze which triggered evacuations

By Ahmet Gencturk

ATHENS (AA) – The Greek opposition leaders on Wednesday came down hard on the government over handling of the wildfires which continue to rage across the country.

This summer is a dark moment in the modern history of the country, said Efi Achtsioglou, former labor minister and the main opposition SYRIZA party’s candidate for the presidency, according to news outlet.

“Half of the country is on fire. People have lost their lives. Our forests are being destroyed, houses and property are being burned,” she said, adding that the state of the New Democracy party shows “an ineffective, offensive state.”

The leader of the social democratic opposition PASOK party, Nikos Androulakis, who visited the fire-struck Evros region, remarked the government substantially failed in dealing with the wildfires across the country, which he called a tragedy.

“All parties must make decisions, without populism, without wishful thinking. It's a matter of national security, it's a top issue that concerns the Greek people,” he said.

The president of the Greek Communist Party (KKE), Dimitris Koutsoubas, said: “The government should spend money for strengthening fire services instead of arming Ukraine and turning the city of Alexandroupolis into a NATO base.”

Meanwhile, Greek Supreme Court prosecutor Georgia Adilini reacted to disastrous wildfires in Alexandroupolis and the racist incident which involved locking of 25 migrants in a truck trailer and live broadcasting it while chanting racist slogans, state-run AMNA news agency reported.

He called for an inquiry into the causes of the catastrophic fire in the northeastern region of Evros, and a detailed investigation into the racist incident that has surfaced following the death of 18 individuals in the Dadia forest in the region on Tuesday.

A wildfire around the Greek capital Athens that started in the area of Pyli on Tuesday prompted more evacuations, including of nursing homes and a monastery.

The efforts to control the blaze by hundreds of firefighters, assisted by firefighting helicopters and planes, have remained insufficient because of the strong wind and extreme weather, public-broadcaster ERT said.

The Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection announced that a very high risk of fire (risk category 4) is predicted for Wednesday in six regions of the country, including Eastern Macedonia, Evros, Rodopi, central Attica region which includes Athens, and Piraeus, as well as western and southern parts of the country.

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