Gov’t outlines aid for fire victims

The government announced yesterday financial aid for those whose homes were damaged or destroyed during the past week’s fires. The Greek government will provide 750 euros per square meter, up to a maximum area of 120 square meters, in the case of homes that have been completely destroyed and 450 euros per square meter for homes that were damaged, according to government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros. According to state figures, some 150 homes were damaged in the forest fires that burned across northeastern Attica for four days with some 50 dwellings being completely destroyed. The government also said it will provide municipalities and prefectures affected by the blazes with an injection of 3.3 million euros, while adding that inspectors have been sent out to record damages suffered by stock breeders and crop farmers to determine compensation amounts. The Economy and Finance Ministry will not implement any rescue scheme for businesses hurt by the fires, on the grounds that none are believed to have suffered any material damage, but added that it will evaluate any cases that may arise. Meanwhile, National Bank said yesterday that fire victims having any form of loan with the lender can ask to be included in a program offering more flexibility in their payments. Fire victims can apply to National Bank for inclusion in the repayment plan by September 4 on the condition that their residence or commercial premises were damaged in the blaze. ATEInsurance also said yesterday it has set up a phone line (210.937.9217) for its customers wishing to file claims. The line operates on weekdays during business hours. Earlier this week, insurer AIG Greece announced it has set up a 24-hour help line to provide assistance to customers affected by the fires.