ND blasts gov’t over its response to Kythira fire

7 August 2017
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Conservative New Democracy attacked the government Monday over the magnitude of the devastation left behind by the fire on Kythira in southern Greece, saying that poor coordination and the lack of aerial support had allowed the blaze, which appeared under control late Friday, to flare up again on Saturday.

Kythira Mayor Stratos Harhalakis had told Skai TV on Sunday that there was a lack of coordination with the government in the effort to secure sufficient aerial support to put out the fire, which, he described, as “the worst in 30 years” on the island.

ND said Monday that there was a lack of aerial support because the ministry chartered helicopters this year for half the amount of time compared to last year – 120 days – “for the same amount of money.” The ministry dismissed ND’s criticism as petty partisan politics and accused Harhalakis of serving the party’s “propaganda” strategy.

Meanwhile, arson investigators arrived on Kythira Monday to ascertain the cause of the devastating blaze, which was mostly contained the same day after consuming at least 2,000 hectares of forest and farmland.

Dozens of homes, as well as the Myrtidion Monastery in the western part of the island were evacuated. No homes were destroyed.

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