Red tape holding up fire aid

Five months after devastating summer fires hit parts of southern Greece, the government is working on simplifying procedures to help victims receive state aid blocked by red tape. Petros Molyviatis, who heads a state natural disaster fund, said that none of the 160 million euros it received in donations will be lost. The government is working on an amendment that will simplify the payment of compensation, he said. Residents in the Peloponnese have been giving accounts of inconsistent decisions being made at random. Yiannis Babatsikas, whose home in Ileia burned down in summer, said that a second inspection of his property took place without any notification. «My home was destroyed by the fires and, in a first check, was deemed as being beyond repair,» said Babatsikas who has been living in a prefabricated home. «Now it has been judged to be repairable, which means that when the time comes, I will be able to receive compensation for repairs but not for reconstruction,» he added.