Memorial service held for 2018 Mati wildfire victims

Memorial service held for 2018 Mati wildfire victims

On the second anniversary of a deadly wildfire that devastated east Attica in 2018, a memorial service was held in a church at the seaside town of Mati on Thursday to commemorate the 102 victims of the blaze.

The service was attended by relatives and friends of the deceased who reiterated their request for justice.

“The minimum respect for the memory of our fellow citizens who died requires few words and very hard work,” said Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias, who attended the service.

“We came here to join our prayers with those of their families for their souls. Our aim and our daily challenge is one: There should never be another Mati. We will fight every day to preserve human life,” he added.

Meanwhile, youngsters from east Attica town who survived the blaze, spoke recently to Kathimerini about the events and their psychological impact.

“We knew, on that day, that we weren’t safe anywhere,” 23-year-old Aphrodite Hatzianastasiadi told the paper. “It is terrifying to realize in this day and age that no one is protecting you, that the absence of a state we talk about sometimes ended up costing lives here.”

As the investigation into the fire in Mati continues, two new probes have been launched into the destructive blazes that struck Mani in the Peloponnese and the island of Kythira in 2017, following claims by former fire service chief Vassilis Matthaiopoulos, revealed by Kathimerini, according to which water-dropping aircraft were not dispatched to those fires as part of a bid to discredit a senior fire service official at the time.

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