ATHENS – Government spokesperson Yiannis Oikonomou referred to the European Council and energy problems during a press briefing on Monday, noting that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will be in Brussels later in the day to participate in the extraordinary Council meeting on the energy crisis.
He said that Mitsotakis will once again reiterate that, while reducing dependence on Russian hydrocarbons and the transition to a green economy were important, it was equally important to support households and businesses in the face of steep increases in fuel prices, natural gas and electricity.
The spokesperson also spoke about the preparations underway for the start of the fire season in the summer:
“As we are at the beginning of the wildfire season we must be prepared to protect people, their property but also the state infrastructure and our national wealth. In this struggle we call on the whole of society to support us. We all need to show responsibility but also vigilance,” Oikonomou said.
He also referred in detail to the reinforcement of the fire brigade, pointing out that a new force of 500 forest commandos who are completing their training will be operational from June 10 and will staff the special units.
In addition, the number of volunteer firefighters in the fire brigade has doubled, reaching 4,000 this year across the country, and another 2,100 volunteers from the Civil Protection volunteer teams are being trained at the same time.
He stressed that for the first time, Greece will this year host firefighters from six European countries – Bulgaria, Romania, Germany, France, Finland, and Norway – in advance. The units will be in the country earlier to ensure their immediate operational readiness without wasting time for the transfer of forces and the exchange of know-how as their contribution to last year’s very difficult period was decisive.