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Society

Greek Wildfires Survivors Offered Public Service Jobs

September 27, 2018

ATHENS – At the same time some families of victims of the July 23 wildfires around Athens that killed 99 people, and survivors, are suing the government over its chaotic response, which critics said brought such a high death toll, the government said those who were seriously injured or lost family members would be offered public jobs.

Administrative Reform Minister Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou approved the process for the hiring although the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition, which includes the pro-austerity, marginal, jingoistic Independent Greeks (ANEL) of Defense Minister Panos Kammenos remain under withering criticism.

Survivors who were left 67 percent disabled or more will be able to apply for a post. If they cannot work as a result of their injuries, the job will go to a spouse or child. It also provides work for a spouse or child of each of those who died due to the fire, except, of course, if an entire familly was wiped out.

The ministry has also set up a special department to help applicants who lost personal documents in the fire that would normally be required in applying for a civil sector job.

Kammenos blamed residents of Mati, where the victims died, for unlawful construction of homes that created a rabbit warren of dead ends blocking access to the escape of the sea. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said 1,185 illegally built structures across the greater Athens area would be razed but only one fence was and the demolitions have been halted while waiting for court procedures.

Some victims and families also have hired private investigators with fire department experience to make independent reports on the response to the fire for which the government has accepted no blame, with Tsipras taking only “political responsibility,” but holding almost no one accountable apart from firing the police and fire department chiefs and forcing out his Citizens Protection Minister Nikos Toskas who had said there were “no operational failures” in the response which saying why, if that was the case, that 99 people died.

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