A general meeting was held today at the Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection, led by Minister Vassilis Kikilia. At the focus of the meeting was the planning for dealing with problems in Attica in cases of heavy snowfall. As Mr. Kikilias pointed out, “today a meeting was held in order to draw attention again to municipalities and regions in everything that has to do with preparation and prevention as well as organization for extreme weather events such as snowfall”.

“We have already asked for it in our letters since the beginning of November, and now we are coming back. We ask that there be the machines that should and are required for the opening of the roads, that there be a register for the vulnerable groups in each municipality, so that we know with EKAB who and where they need to move if and when there is some bad weather and it is difficult access to hospitals. Of course, it has been foreseen that the regions and municipalities have salt shakers and salt. It is very important to have a prevention plan, so that, if and when we have such phenomena in the next period of time, we can react in the best possible way,” said Mr. Kikilias, while pointing out that “they consider and believe that the regions and municipalities are their teammates, allies in this effort”.

“Of course they have the responsibilities and the responsibility, so they should prepare in the best possible way. Here, at the Ministry of Civil Protection and at ESKEDIK, there will be – before the occurrence of the phenomena – all the scientists, the meteorologists, so that there is a forecast as quickly as possible, the DEDDIE, the ADMIE, representatives of the concessionaires, representatives of all the co-competent ministries, such as Infrastructure, etc., of course the Armed Forces, the Greek Police and the Traffic and Fire Brigades, so that we can coordinate in the best possible way all the civil protection”, underlined Mr. Kikilias.

Asked if there is any timetable for the Attica Region, Mr. Kikilias said that the Attica Region reacted to the cleaning of the streams and there is progress in this part, as well as in the emergency, for the weather phenomena that may occur, in addition to floods and snowfalls. “It should be ready and the emergency procedure is foreseen, since a big competition that exists is stuck. But in general, this is a pathology of the public administration, which we are trying to cure”, noted the minister and referred to the bill on Civil Protection which was passed at the end of last week and enables Civil Protection to intervene, so that it can better coordinate and speed up procedures in all that has to do with emergencies.

“For example, if a project is stuck, it is possible for Civil Protection to give the Ministry of Infrastructure the right to step in with a direct assignment and proceed with the specific part of the project for which citizens are at risk. In none of the cases can a politician, and indeed a minister, intervene in the judiciary, because there are Audit Courts and the procedures that require time, there are also objections that are heard that reach the Supreme Court. However, I would like to ask the leadership of the Judiciary to take this into account. Among the many obligations he has, to see these contracts or these projects, which are very important, crucial for the protection of citizens. I think that these come first and are prioritized first and ahead of anything else that is judged on a case-by-case basis”, underlined Mr. Kikilias.

Then Mr. Kikilias referred to difficulties that may exist, such as for example in the Region of Attica, where the tender for the contractors for the snow removal machines is at the objection stage.

“I received the assurance that from the Register of Contractors, with the urgency for Civil Protection, the district will proceed and hire machines earlier than when required. I also understand that there is also the process of transition from the previous administrations of the municipalities to the next ones. However, this cannot be an excuse in our opinion, since the protection of citizens and the safety of their lives is above all”, noted Mr. Kikilias and then thanked the mayors for their presence at today’s meeting , the outgoing municipal authorities, but also the new mayors who will take over from 1/1/2024, as he said they “demonstrated professionalism”.

“All of them have to cooperate with each other. We will not stop trying to be organized both at the level of prevention and at the level of intervention, so as to protect our fellow citizens. I understand that this is a permanent effort that has many problems in the country and bureaucratically, but we are here to push and try to solve them”, concluded Mr. Kikilias.

It is noted that the meeting was attended by the Deputy Minister of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection, Evangelos Tournas, the general secretary of Civil Protection, Vassilis Papageorgiou, the deputy governor of the Northern Sector, Loukia Kefalogianni, mayors and newly elected mayors of Attica, the leader of the PS G. Pournaras, as well as officers of the Fire Department and Civil Protection.