Amid aid delays to fire victims, ND leader visits Mati

Amid aid delays to fire victims, ND leader visits Mati

A month after the disastrous wildfires on the outskirts of Attica that claimed the lives of 96 people and destroyed dozens of homes and thousands of hectares of land, the government approved additional aid for victims, as Infrastructure Minister Christos Spirtzis and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis conducted separate visits to Mati, the coastal settlement east of the capital where dozens died.

In a briefing to reporters, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos reeled out a list of figures aimed at detailing the action taken by the authorities, which were widely condemned for their slow response to the disaster.

To date, 4,328 appeals for state relief have been lodged and 1,710 households have received aid, he said.

Interior Minister Panos Skourletis, meanwhile, signed off on the sum of 4.5 million euros that is to go towards the municipalities of Marathon and Rafina.

Also on Thursday, Spirtzis visited Mati to inspect the progress of works being carried out to restore the area, including the demolition of buildings that were totally destroyed in the fire and the removal of toxic materials from the area.

The minister’s visit came a few hours after that of Mitsotakis to the area – his second since the tragedy. The opposition leader met with locals two days after receiving a delegation of residents from Mati and Neos Voutzas, another settlement that was badly affected by the fires.

Noting that the “sorrow, anger and exasperation” sparked by the fires remained acute, Mitsotakis pledged that “those responsible will be held accountable.”

“Certain people are to blame for the fact that 96 people died and hundreds, if not thousands, of people lost their properties,” he said. 

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