Changes are to be made to the criteria for the hiring of 5,500 seasonal firefighters. Lieutenant General Panayiotis Fourlas, in an interview with Kathimerini, pointed out that until last year, seasonal firefighters were hired on purely social criteria. This had resulted in problems, since sometimes these people did not meet firefighting requirements. «Social policy and firefighting don’t mix,» said Fourlas emphatically. Criteria were thus changed. Candidates now have to undergo detailed medical examinations and physical tests, as is the case with permanent firefighters. The only difference is that height and reading and writing skills will not be included in the criteria for seasonal firefighters. Tenures this year will last five years, as an added incentive. In practice, this means that at the end of their five-month stint, each firefighter will be evaluated and, should they prove satisfactory, their contract will be renewed the following year. Experience will count; each year in service will garner 80 points. Locals will be preferred and, if not all positions in each area are filled, firefighters will be drawn from the nearest area. Social criteria will continue to count in favor of the candidates but only as a last resort. If two candidates are found to be equal, and one is a child of a family with many children, then preference will be granted to that candidate.