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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-08-04

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Government sets bounty on arsonists, effective immediately

  • [01] Government sets bounty on arsonists, effective immediately

    The government on Thursday set a steep bounty on arsonists, effective immediately, public order minister George Voulgarakis told reporters during a break in a meeting of the relevant ministers chaired by prime minister Costas Karamanlis to appraise the damages from the recent devastating fire in the northeastern coastal town of Rafina, believed to be the work of arsonists, which burned more than 5,000 stremma of forest land and burned some 60 homes. The ministers also discussed a serious of additional measures to confront the phenomenon and to provide assistance to residents whose homes or professional premises were damaged or destroyed in the blaze.

    Voulgarakis stepped out of the meeting briefly to announce to waiting reporters that the government was setting a bounty of up to 100,000 euros for information leading to the location and arrest of the Rafina arsonists "and for any other incident (arson) concerning this year's summer season".

    Consequently, he said before returning to the meeting, "as of this moment, the bounty is in force for any citizen who helps in locating the arsonists".

    After the meeting, interior minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos noted that emergency financial assistance was already being given out to the fire-stricken residents of the Rafina fire, stressing that all the residents whose homes had suffered damages or total destruction could begin repair work or rebuilding.

    He further stressed that the decision designating the region for reforestation has already been issued, and pending only was the detailed map of the specific areas for reforestion, on which a relevant being was taken place in tandem on Thursday in the Peripheral authority.

    "Wherever there was forest will remain a forest," Pavlopoulos said, adding that the State was meeting its obligation to the citizens who suffered damage and loss from the fire.

    National defence minister Spilios Spiliotopoulos, in turn, told reporters that the aerial photographs of the fire-ravaged region, taken by the Air Force and the Army's Geographical Service, would be released later on Thursday.

    The minister said that the photographs had been taken with the geodetic method, with precision at one-tenth of a degree, so as to delineate the areas destroyed in order that it will be reforested.


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