Greek PM to unveil new plan for civil protection

Greek PM to unveil new plan for civil protection

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is expected Thursday to unveil a plan for overhauling the General Secretariat for Civil Protection in the wake of last month’s deadly Attica wildfires.

After replacing the alternate minister for citizens’ protection, the police and fire chiefs and the general secretary for civil protection, as well as heralding a crackdown on the illegal construction that has been partly blamed for the tragedy, the premier is expected to announce a system involving greater coordination with other services.

According to sources, the aim is for the secretariat and other services to have shared access to information to ensure all sides have a comprehensive overview of a crisis situation at any given time and can prepare to respond accordingly.

In the wake of the tragedy at Mati, the coastal settlement in eastern Attica where dozens died due to the absence of an evacuation order, it is expected that a new procedure will be introduced regarding evacuations, with the new head of the civil protection service, Yiannis Tafyllis, to assume greater responsibilities.

In comments to state broadcaster ERT that fueled criticism, Alternate Defense Minister Fotis Kouvelis said he acknowledged the pain caused by last month’s blazes but added this could not detract from the fact that Greece is set to exit its bailouts on August 21.

Kouvelis hit out at New Democracy for its hard line opposite the government, saying ND had “never felt the need to explain why anarchy and client-patron relations dominated for so many years.”

Meanwhile, in an interview with Athens Voice, ND leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis accused the government of shirking responsibility and said he would make meritocratic civil protection appointments.

He also repeated calls for snap polls, saying the country needed a reboot.

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