Financial support for farmers whose crops were destroyed by the large fire burning in central Evia since early Tuesday morning will be processed very fast, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Wednesday, during a visit to the area.
Mitsotakis was briefed on the situation by Civil Protection Secretary General Nikos Hardalias and Fire Brigade officials at the latter’s mobile coordination centre “Olympos” on Evia.
He said he has “already asked for the immediate assessment of the disaster in order to initiate the relevant procedures so that stricken farmers may be compensated” and so that the area is allowed to begin its natural and time-consuming comeback after the catastrophe.
In the fire that is still burning, four villages were evacuated and a fire zone created on Tuesday night that proved to be instrumental in protecting the town of Psahna, south of the forest where the blaze broke out.
The prime minister called on the public to follow the directions issued by the Civil Protection Secretariat and the Fire Brigade and added, “Our government’s foremost priority is to protect human lives, then to protect people’s homes.” He further said that “as the high-risk season for fires comes to a close in September, we shall take advantage of the time ahead to drastically change the manner in which civil protection works overall.”
Congratulating everyone who contributed to the firefighting efforts, he noted that extreme weather phenomena “will occur for many years ahead, and we are obliged to be as prepared as possible at national and European level, as I mentioned earlier to Commissioner Christos Stylianides,” referring to the commissioner who is in Greece after the official request for the union’s support through the RescEU program.
The prime minister also paid a visit to Makrymalli village, one of the four evacuated, to see the damage inflicted by the fire.
Besides the premier, the briefing at “Olympos” was attended by Citizen Protection Minister, the Civil Protection Secretary General, the chief of the Fire Brigade, the outgoing Central Greece regional director and the director-elect, the mayor of the village regions and two New Democracy deputies representing Evia.
Civil Protection’s head Hardalias said that the battle against the fire in Evia continues, as the winds are strong, and he called on the public to “be very careful and avoid actions that may create out-of-control situations.”