Compensation pledged to Chios gum tree farmers following fire

Compensation pledged to Chios gum tree farmers following fire

The government has pledged to compensate farmers whose crops and properties were destroyed by Monday’s wildlfire on the eastern Aegean island of Chios.

Agriculture Minister Vangelis Apostolou, who visited the island Tuesday, said he will expedite the activation of all available emergency measures to help farmers, particularly mastic gum tree cultivators .

Over 90 percent of the mastic trees in the villages of Lithi, Elata and Vessa were destroyed, while a large number were also burned in the villages of Mesta, Armolia and Pyrgi.

Mastic production comprises a major source of income for the southern part of the island.

Apostolou said it will be difficult to activate European funds used in case of adverse climatic events, because in order to receive money the government must first prove that the island suffered damages worth 30 percent of its GDP.

In a seperate development, a 37-year-old man was remanded Tuesday on arson charges after an Athens court found him responsible for 12 fires in June and July in the forested region of Neoktista in Aspropyrgos, west of Athens.

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