A “very big thank you” to the women and men of the Fire Brigade, the Armed Forces and the volunteers, who do what is humanly possible on the front lines of the fires, said government spokesman Pavlos Marinakis, speaking to SKAI today.

Talking about the readiness of the state apparatussaid that “there has been a conquest in recent years, after the first administration of Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who has stayed in the country, the effective operation of 112. It is the preventive evacuations, the quick evacuations, that we must continue where necessary, for to protect human life which is above everyone and everything”.

Regarding the adequacy of people and means in dealing with fires, he said:

“The state must year after year, in a country that has been greatly affected by these weather phenomena, to increase the number of means, but also of people, firefighters, volunteers, permanent firefighters who help in these cases. They have increased from ’22 to ’23 from 3,410 to 3,725 vehicles in total.

The aerial vehicles have increased from 84 to 96 and the personnel has also increased, having now reached, if I am not mistaken, I have the exact number, 16,080 firefighters of which 11,260 are permanent.

Regarding the funds to the Municipalities for cleaning the lands, he said:

“This year, earlier than ever, 25 million euros were given from March. We didn’t just stop at that. In the previous four years, the Government passed a provision, in 2022 in particular, which gave the possibility to the mayors where the process of cleaning the lands is not voluntary to do it ex officio. That is, in cases where someone did not give their consent, they did not find the owner, it was very difficult. When they considered this and consider this possible, there is also a related provision that was passed, so that another chronic problem could be addressed.

For fire victim compensation and criminal liability and fines in cases of arson

“As much as we unfortunately have property losses, we will see, we will measure how much they are, we see, however, that given the conditions, so I don’t misunderstand, year after year we see a state more and more ready to respond immediately.

Here, then, we have the question of the application of the law. Where, as you understand, it is a matter of the judiciary, but it is also a matter of the complaints that are made.

One part is the punishment of the guilty when caught. We have two arrests in Boeotia, the cases will be evaluated by the judiciary.

We do not yet know what led to the fires. The investigation is in the hands of the competent authorities.

With regard to the criminal responsibilities of the perpetrators in cases of arson – whether negligent or malicious – the Mitsotakis Government tightened the legal framework, the Criminal Code in both cases. When someone burns a forest, it’s not just the fine. And it’s not just the administrative sanctions. They are serious criminal responsibilities. And, in fact, in many cases the maximum penalties” he concluded.