Greek prime minister apologizes for wildfire response

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Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotak on Monday apologized for the country’s wildfire response that has caused thousands to evacuate their homes.

“I fully understand the pain of our fellow citizens who saw their homes or property burned,” Mitsotak said to citizens in a television address, Reuters reported.

“Any failures will be identified. And the responsibility will be assigned wherever necessary,” he added.

Thousands have had to evacuate in the country as more than 500 wildfires have spread.

The Greek island of Evia had to evacuate 1,153 people between Friday night and Saturday morning due to the flames.

To combat the damage, a 500 million euro package was approved by Mitsotak to provide aid to Evia and the Attica region.

The prime minister also said compensation would be provided to those who lost their homes. Forests will be restored and climate defenses will be built up after the fires, he added. 

“Our aim is to complete the inventory as soon as possible, in order to immediately begin the process of compensating our affected fellow citizens,” the ministry of infrastructure and transport for Greece said, according to Reuters.

Firefighters were able to save the site of the ancient Olympic Games that has become a popular tourist attraction in the country.

Other countries such as Turkey and the United States have also been fighting growing wildfires the past few weeks.

“The climate crisis is knocking on the door of the entire planet,” Mitsotakis said.

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