Minister accuses fire service of being ‘used like a party mechanism’

Minister accuses fire service of being ‘used like a party mechanism’

Comments by Citizens’ Protection Minister Nikos Toskas in Parliament Thursday, including calling the Hellenic Fire Service the “most warped service in the Greek public sector,” prompted angry reactions from opposition parties.

Responding to a question from Greek Communist Party (KKE) MP Christos Katsotis, Toskas accused previous socialist PASOK and conservative New Democracy governments of using the fire department “like a party mechanism rather than a part of the state machine,” also implying that many of its high-ranking officers were appointed without having the qualifications, “coming in through the window.”

“Mr Toskas’s comments about the men and women who work in the fire department, and who selflessly did their duty throughout the summer in the battle against so many fires, are insulting,” PASOK MP Theodoros Papatheodorou said. “We can’t accuse a department of being warped when it literally throws itself into every fire despite massive shortages,”

KKE’s Katsotis countered after Toskas conceded that the fire service’s budget has been drastically reduced.

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