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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-07-03

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Karamanlis chairs cabinet meeting on restoring fire-ravaged forests

  • [01] Karamanlis chairs cabinet meeting on restoring fire-ravaged forests

    The Inner Cabinet, chaired by prime minister Costas Karamanlis, on Tuesday discussed measures for ameliorating problems caused by the recent spate of devastating forest fires throughout the country.

    Environment, town planning and public works minister George Souflias, who the cabinet decided will assume the role of coordinator, told reporters after the meeting that the first step was to map out the destroyed regions, reforestation, in tandem with anti-flooding and anti-erosion projects.

    Souflias said that the anti-flooding and anti-erosion works needed to be completed by end-September, before the rainy season commenced, while reforestation would begin in November and should be completed by February.

    Replying to questions, Souflias said that he backed public order minister Vyron Polydoras, adding that there was no political blame for the outcome of the fires, although there may be operational responsibilities.

    Interior minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos stressed that the government's decision was that "where there was forest, it will remain forest", adding that the government was determined not to allow a repetition of the "phenomena of the past" where villas would spring up in land that was officially designated as forest.

    "We are beginning immediately, with aerial photographs, and will then proceed with all the measures for the reforestation," Pavlopoulos said.

    The government will further proceed with compensation for those who suffered damages or losses due to the wildfires, in accordance with the relevant legislation, and has been done in the past.


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