The municipalities of Rhodes, Western Lesvos, Mytilene, Chios, Central Corfu and Oropos in Attica will be among the largest recipients of state aid this year for fire protection as Greece gears up for wildfire season.
The amount that will be received by each of the 326 municipalities that will be supported is calculated based on the fire risk, population and other factors.
However, the total amount that will be allocated (16.9 million euros) is said to be small in relation to the real needs.
The aid for the municipalities is distributed by the Interior Ministry. The amount has remained unchanged in recent years but there has been no shortage of complaints every year by the municipalities that they are insufficient.
Another big question concerns how exactly the different municipalities control and monitor the allocation of these funds for their intended purposes and whether they are managed rationally.
The annual aid for the municipalities mostly goes toward preventive clearing work in areas of the municipalities’ responsibility. These includes groves, parks, camps and other public spaces.
The aid is also used for the removal of branches that pile up due to clearing activities by the owners of private plots, which is a particular problem in suburban municipalities.
Funds are also provided for the preventive clearing of dry undergrowth in forest areas located near residential areas and more.
Broken down, the municipalities that will receive the most are the following: Rhodes (258,000 euros), Western Lesvos (204,700 euros), Chios (187,800 euros), Oropos (185,000 euros), Mytilene (159,300 euros), Sparti (158,000 euros), Central Corfu (155,400 euros) ), Tripoli (149,000 euros), Argos-Mycenae (145,000 euros), Agrinio (144,000 euros), Volos (139,000 euros) Dionysos (131,700 euros), Corinth (129,000 euros), Zakynthos (125,500 euros) and Grevena (120,000 euros).
The Municipality of Athens will receive 118,000 euros.