Greek premier apologizes over wildfires, vows action against responsible officials

Government comes under criticism from Greek public, opposition for delayed response to blazes on Aegean islands.

Greek premier apologizes over wildfires, vows action against responsible officials

Responding to growing criticism over the government’s failure to properly tackle the raging forest fires in Greece, the prime minister Tuesday apologized to the Greek nation for the inefficacy of the state mechanism and promised action against those responsible for the crisis.

Assuming political responsibility on the issue in a speech, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis promised an urgent aid package worth €500 million ($585 million) to the victims of the blazes, saying the people responsible will account for their actions.

Criticism over the forest fires that have been ongoing for more than 10 days escalated Tuesday with the opposition in Greece coming down hard on the government.

People in the affected Aegean Euboea island and the Morea peninsula voiced their anger at the government for its delayed response to the fires.

The opposition parties held the government responsible and called on the concerned cabinet members to resign immediately.

Chairperson of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), Alexis Tsipras, said Mitsotakis disregarded his and scientists' warnings on the fires.

The firefighting teams reported that the fires which had been contained in some regions in the north of Euboea have burst into flames once again.

The teams are fighting the blazes with nine aircraft and four helicopters, while the fires constantly change direction due to the wind.

Some villages in the region have been evacuated, while many citizens refused to abandon their homes, and kept fighting the flames with their limited means.