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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-07-25

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papandreou: fires a 'national ecological crisis'
  • [02] Fires still raging unchecked throughout Greece

  • [01] Papandreou: fires a 'national ecological crisis'

    The government was incapable of tackling the "national and ecological crisis" that Greece was currently undergoing, main opposition PASOK's leader George Papandreou claimed on Wednesday after his meeting with President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias.

    In the meeting, which was requested by Papandreou, PASOK's leader outlined his proposal for a meeting of the leaders of the political parties in Parliament chaired by Papoulias in order to discuss the fires and destruction of Greece's forests.

    Afterwards, Papandreou expressed disappointment that his proposal to jointly tackle the problem had been rejected by the government, while referring extensively to the losses to human lives, property and the natural environment brought by the fires.

    Following this rejection, the government "remained alone with its responsibilities," he added.

    He also accused the government of allowing state services, including the fire brigade, to be fully infiltrated by party politics and political patronage.

    On his arrival to meet Papoulias, PASOK's leader congratulated the president on his reference to the environment on Tuesday, saying that his intervention had been timely, while they also discussed the funerals of the two fallen Canadair pilots that died while fighting a fire on Evia, both of which were attended by PASOK's president.

    Caption: Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou making statements shortly after his meeting with President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Wednesday, 25 July 2007, on a proposal for a meeting of the political party leaders to discuss the fires ravaing Greece's forests. ANA-MPA/ Alexandros Beltes

    [02] Fires still raging unchecked throughout Greece

    Wildfires continued to rage across Greece on Wednesday, many of which have been burning unchecked for several days. These included a fire on the island of Hydra, famous for its traditional architecture and a former haunt of the jet set, and near Ancient Epidaurus in the northeast Peloponnese that have been burning since Tuesday afternoon.

    In the Peloponnese, near the coastal town of Egio, a fire in the Kounina area was still blazing out of control on Wednesday afternoon and the villages of Melissia and Mavriki were evacuated, along with a children's summer camp at Pyrgaki and the Taxiarchon monastery, while one house was reported to burnt.

    A strong fire-fighting force on the ground was deployed to tackle the fire, with further reinforcements are expected from nearby prefectures, as well as two fire-fighting aircraft and one helicopter.

    Five blazes were in progress in western and northwestern Greece, in the prefectures of Thesprotia and Ioannina, where a house and two stables in the Filiates region were caught fire and large expanses of olive trees were burned.

    In Amarantos, in the northwestern prefecture of Ioannina, a wildfire continued its catastrophic course that began July 22. Local spa facilities and hotels were evacuated as a precaution . Fifty five firemen, 13 fire engines, 18 firemen on foot and a helicopter were taking part in the firefighting efforts. Two other fire fronts that reached the regions of Kotsika and Tsamanta from Albania have subsided but a third that passed into Greece from Albania is still in progress at Asimochori in Konitsa and has so far consumed 10 hectares of forest and open grass land.

    Fires were also in progress at Palia Sagiada, Plesio, Asprokklisi and Korytiani in Thesprotia, while fires in Perdika, Thesprotia and Fanari in the prefecture of Preveza, western Greece were now under control.

    The fire that broke out on Tuesday afternoon in a forest region in Velventos, in the northern Greek prefecture of Kozani, was also in progress. Twenty fire engines, 34 firemen and 6 water wagons were participating in the efforts to put out the fire, which were hampered by the existence of minefields, while another fire on the Ionian Sea island of Cephallonia was burning its way through a forest in the region of Kapitsiani.

    A second fire also began in Kozani on Wednesday in an area of grassland and low vegetation at Imera in the Serbion municipality, which two fire-engines and eight firemen were attempting to put out.

    Meanwhile, three fire fronts are in progress in Kotili, Kalivia-Katsara and Mt. Grammos in the prefecture of Kastoria, in northwest Greece.

    Several fires were also underway in the Peloponnese, in addition to that at Ancient Epidaurus, including one at the village of Dimitropoulo, near the coastal town of Egio. Under partial control on Wednesday afternoon were fires at Avlona in the prefecture of Messinia and at the Hiliomodi ravine, Patima-Magoula and Mapsos in the prefecture of Corinth, while a fire in Mani, on the borders between the prefectures of Messinia and Laconia, another at the village of Polovitsa on Mount Taygetos in southern Greece and one at Chrysokelaria in Messinia were now under control.

    More fires were reported in the region of Lake Plastira and in Farsala, central Greece.

    Also, a small fire that broke out at dawn in Thessalonikiās Sheik Shu urban forest was quickly extinguished by 20 firemen with 7 fire engines, as was a fire that broke out at Kolymbari in the prefecture of Hania on the island of Crete on Wednesday morning, which burnt about four hectares of shrubs and bushes.

    The fire in Hania had started in an illegal rubbish dump near the side of a provincial road and quickly blazed out of control, setting fire to nearby bushes and heading toward a region of olive groves.

    Caption: Flames consume a pine tree in Kounina near Egio. The fire started in a region of pine forest near olive trees and vineyards and an inhabited area on Tuesday, 24 July 2007. ANA/MPA - Giota Korbaki.


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