Following the devastating forest fires in the Mediterranean and the Western Balkans over the past weeks, Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, is visiting areas affected by the fires in Greece today. During the visit, he is meeting the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister, Christos Triantopoulos. The Commissioner, together with Deputy Minister of Civil Protection, Nikos Chardalias, is also visiting the rescEU stockpile of medical items hosted by Greece. In addition, he will meet Apostolos Tzitzikostas, President of the European Committee of the Regions and a group of Governors of Greek Regions. During his visit to the Attica region near Athens that was heavily affected by forest fires this summer, Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: "The ongoing wildfire season in Europe has been extremely demanding, having detrimental effects on people and our ecosystems. It particularly affected Greece where we could witness the worst wave of wildfires for more than a decade. I am very proud to see that the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and our rescEU fleet of firefighting aircraft has demonstrated its value yet again – here in Greece but also in other regions across our continent. But there is a clear need for more. We are already working with Member States, including Greece, to scale-up the rescEU capacity of firefighting aircraft in the near future.” Fires in Greece have been particularly fierce this year as well as in Southern Europe. To respond to requests for assistance from Greece, firefighting support from eleven EU Member States (Czechia, Germany, Spain, France, Croatia, Cyprus, Austria, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Sweden) was mobilised rapidly to help national and local firefighting efforts, with teams of ground firefighters and firefighting airplanes, in addition to firefighting planes from the EU’s own rescEU reserve.
- Publication date
- 25 August 2021