Greek PM announces new emergency response service

Greek PM announces new emergency response service

A National Emergency Response Service is to be established to replace the General Secretariat for Civil Protection, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced on Thursday, in the wake of last month’s deadly Attica wildfires that claimed the lives of 93 people.

The new agency, which will be under the direct authority of the Interior Ministry, will integrate all the services, research institutes and voluntary teams involved in the management of emergencies.

It will be run by a candidate of proven experience, operational ability and scientific competence, he said.

A scientific council, comprising the research institutes and other agencies involved in the field of natural disasters, will advise the new organisation.

In addition, representatives of the fire service, ambulance service, police, Hellenic Red Cross, coast guard, military, Forestry Service and relevant ministries, as well as research institutes and voluntary bodies, will be invited to join the new body.

The new service will have a budget of 500 million, which will be made up of funds from the European Investment Bank, the EU-subsidized National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) and the National Investment Program.

Tsipras invited the public and all political parties to support the new agency.

Tsipras described the wildfires in eastern Attica as “an unspeakable tragedy” that “has left the country and all of us deeply traumatized.”

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