Tsipras seeks EU funds to deal with damage from floods

Tsipras seeks EU funds to deal with damage from floods

With the government struggling to cope with the backlash of the deadly flash floods that struck western Attica on Wednesday, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Friday that he plans to appeal for European Union aid.

On the sidelines of Friday’s EU Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth in Gothenburg, Sweden, Tsipras said that he plans to ask for assistance from Greece’s EU partners to secure funds to deal with the disaster, whose death toll rose Friday to 16 people.

He noted, however, that “we must take into consideration the difficulties of European bureaucracy.” 

For this reason, he added, “We must first try and help our people with our own strengths.”

The request will come as the government finds itself in a race against time to overcome the consequences of the flooding in Mandra as the anger of victims gets louder and with temperatures set to drop significantly in coming days.

Speaking to left-wing radio station To Kokkino, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said on Friday that authorities are currently taking stock of the destruction so that a plan of action can be drawn up to repair damage and compensate victims. 

“The repair of damage and the compensation of victims is a commitment of the premier and as soon as we assess the damage we will make the appropriate announcements,” he said, adding that this will be done in coming days. 

The government’s next phase of action will reportedly be the drafting of an overall long-term plan to deal with the underlying causes that led to Wednesday’s flash floods that include uncontrolled construction. 

Meanwhile, the area of Mandra resembled a construction site on Friday with dozens of crews from the regional government and the fire service helping restore water infrastructure and repair destroyed roads.

Crews were also trying to clear streets of the some 500 cars, and dozens of trucks and buses that were destroyed.

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