Number of wildfire victims points to ‘gaps’ in prevention, says Stylianides

Number of wildfire victims points to ‘gaps’ in prevention, says Stylianides

The large number of victims resulting from the deadly blaze that devastated Attica’s eastern coast this week “may indicate gaps prevention and preparedness,” European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides told Kathimerini in an interview published on Sunday.

“No doubt we experienced and are still experiencing a tragedy in Greece. So many victims in such a small area may indicate gaps in prevention and preparedness,” he said. “The Greek state has specific bodies that will decide in a scientific way on any possible shortcomings.”

Stylianides was in Athens last week to coordinate European assistance to Greece and express “European solidarity.”

Natural disasters “have no borders,” the commissioner said, but added that any help from the European Union is a “dead letter” if it is not accompanied by a prevention plan and preparedness.

“As the saying goes: prevention is always better than a cure,” he said.

“We urgently need to cultivate a culture that responds to the effects of climate change. That is why the Commission’s proposal for upgrading the EU civil defence mechanism – RescEU – has prevention and preparedness as its main pillar,” he added.

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