Greek government facing criticism over handling of wildfires

This weekend, Greece will begin burying the victims of a devastating wildfire near Athens which killed at least 88 people, and has prompted criticism of the government’s handling of the disaster.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Friday took political responsibility for the tragedy as opposition leaders said the government had failed to adequately safeguard lives. Tsipras’ government has been criticized for failing to have an adequate evacuation plan in place for such a disaster. The government has announced a long list of relief measures and promised to tackle decades-old problems, including haphazard and unlicensed residential building, to minimize the risk of a repeat disaster and to cool public anger.

A deputy mayor in Marathon, which administers some of the affected area, on Saturday became the first official to resign over the wildfire.

Heavy downpours hit the region on Saturday, prompting fears that the work of rescue crews and efforts by locals to salvage what they can from the fire could be made more difficult.

[Reuters]

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