The Romanian firefighters who have been helping their Greek colleagues battle wildfires will leave the country at the end of the month and be replaced by 25 French colleagues.
Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Minister Christos Stylianides and the leadership of the Fire Service, Lieutenant General Alexios Rapanos, will host a farewell ceremony on July 29, which will be attended by Romania’s Interior Minister, Lucian Bode, and the head of Romania’s Department for Emergency Situations, Dr Raed Arafat.
The Romanian mission consisted of a 56-strong force deployed in two separate teams of 28 people which operated for two weeks over the month of July.
Greece will welcome the French contingent on August 1 which will remain in the country throughout the month. Next week, the German and Bulgarian teams are leaving Tripoli and Larissa and will be replaced by the missions from Norway and Finland.
The foreign units are part of a “pre-positioning pilot project” set up by the EU in 2022 to allow for a swift response to large wildfires and designed to lead to a permanent Europe-wide cooperation program.
In June, the EU announced that more than 200 firefighters from six European countries – Romania, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany and Norway – will be sent to Greece this year.