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GreeceMitsotakis: Greece is once more being tested by fires

Mitsotakis: Greece is once more being tested by fires

Hellenic News of America
Hellenic News of America
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Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis began a cabinet meeting on Monday by thanking frontline firefighting forces for their great work over the last few days, noting that the state had been “present from the first moments against hundreds of blazes, throughout the country.”

“Unfortunately, today’s meeting is being held in the midst of a confrontation with the fires, which are testing the country again this year,” he said, while noting that there had been “an extremely difficult June in terms of weather conditions, with high drought and unusually high winds for this season,” while the summer ahead was predicted to be particularly dangerous.

“But I think that these days we saw much better coordination, we saw very early intervention by the Fire Department, we saw for the first time the great importance of drones for the early detection of fires. I think we saw a better coordination of the police, local government and volunteers and the result of this effort was that, despite the difficult conditions, the damage and extent of burnt areas was limited compared to the magnitude of the threat,” he said.

“For example, I looked at the data from the two very difficult fires in Parnitha and Stamata. In each of these two fires, the burnt land appears to be less than 100 hectares,” he added
Mitsotakis noted, however, that the battle against the fires will last a long time, as Greece was only now entering the heart of the firefighting season, and that “it will certainly not be won without the assistance of the citizens, especially in the field of prevention.”
He announced that the government was therefore extending the deadline for clearing plots of land from dry vegetation by another 15 days, as it has been shown in practice that “nothing is more useful than early preparation and citizen participation in the collective defence against natural hazards”.

“I want to emphasize that the measure of land clearing is being implemented for the first time in our country in this way. It stands to reason that there have been some initial hiccups but I think even these weaknesses do not in any way diminish its importance,” he said, adding that more than 500,000 plots of all sizes have already been declared on the relevant platform. “Obviously, our goal is to increase this number even more, even if we are already in the heart of the fire prevention season,” he said, while concluding that “the most difficult part still lies ahead and this requires the best possible coordination between all services: armed forces, police, the forestry services.”

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The prime minister then spoke about the agenda for the remainder of the meeting, such as progress report on projects funded by the Recovery and Resilience Fund, a discussion on a decision for an emergency tax on refineries and also the issue of speeding up hiring in the state sector.

He said a meeting at the interior ministry “has identified the historic dysfunctions that still prevent the implementation of reforms, so that these are not immediately visible to the citizens.” He pointed out that the cabinet often made decisions regarding public sector recruitments that “are finally undermined by complex, bureaucratic and largely manual procedures, which reflect neither the needs nor their urgent nature.”

Mitsotakis said the interior ministry will propose a series of measures to correct these obstacles that lead to delays in people taking up their duties in the public sector, or not taking up positions at all. “Our aim is simple: that everything happen much more quickly,” he said, with changes that would decrease candidate rejection of state appointments and use of digital processes.

“I stress that we are in this way supporting the Supreme Council for Staff Selection, which has proved all these years that it can guarantee that the processes are irreproachable. Our goal now, however, is to accelerate the relevant processes,” he added.


The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

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