Greece will not be part of EU fire rescue fleet

22 May 2019

Despite counting 102 victims in last year’s fire in Mati in Attica, Greece decided to not take part in the European firefighting fleet of rescEU aircraft launched today.

The rescEU fleet currently consists of seven aircraft from Croatia, France, Italy, Spain, and six helicopters from Sweden, with new material expected to be added in the coming weeks.

According to Kathimerini, the reasons the country abstained were unclear, adding that the decision meant Greece would remain on a voluntary offer basis of firefighting aircraft by other countries in the event of fires, meaning it would be dependent solely on the goodwill and capabilities of the other states on the one hand, and on the other hand, miss the chance to participate in fire prevention programs.

The European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid Christos Stylianidis said in his statements that he constantly raised the issue in contacts with Greek officials without receiving a positive response.

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