There is absolutely no doubt that several of the fires plaguing Greece currently have been the result of arson, government spokesperson Pavlos Marinakis told MEGA TV on Thursday, confirming earlier statements by Minister of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Vassilis Kikilias.
Marinakis was asked about the nine attempts at arson recorded in the Avlona area on Mt. Parnitha on Thursday, as Kikilias said in a briefing, calling the evidence “very strong.” Kikilias had said that so far authorities have arrested 140 people for setting fires; most people were considered to have been negligent, while 79 were suspected of arson.
“Arson alone carries a life sentence, and all planned fires carry criminal sentences,” Marinakis said, referring to bans on outdoor fires during the fire season. Referring to the arsonists’ future sentencing, he said, “We owe that to people who have perished despite the evacuations, we owe it to all people who have lost their properties and all those who do their best night and day in the toughest summer” Greece has had, he added, referring to firefighters.
The evacuation of 20,000 people from Rhodes island and 15,500 in Evros and the Hospital of Alexandroupolis was achieved thanks to the use of the emergency message service of 112, which one should not take for granted. “Let us not underestimate its value – it did not exist and now it does,” Marinakis said.
In terms of the results of the fires and response, the spokesperson also underlined that when the time comes, the government will assess the results, but that it used all its means available and that the unprecedented climate situation “obliges us to move ahead even faster.”