ND blasts gov’t over lapses in Kythira fire

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Con­ser­va­tive New Democ­racy at­tacked the gov­ern­ment yes­ter­day over the mag­ni­tude of the dev­as­ta­tion left be­hind by the fire on Kythira in south­ern Greece, say­ing that poor co­or­di­na­tion and the lack of aerial sup­port had al­lowed the blaze, which ap­peared un­der con­trol late Fri­day, to flare up again on Satur­day. Kythira Mayor Stratos Harha­lakis had told Skai TV on Sun­day that there was a lack of co­or­di­na­tion with the gov­ern­ment in the ef­fort to se­cure suf­fi­cient aerial sup­port to put out the fire, which, he de­scribed, as “the worst in 30 years” on the is­land. ND said yes­ter­day that there was a lack of aerial sup­port be­cause the min­istry char­tered he­li­copters this year for half the amount of time com­pared to last year – 120 days – “for the same amount of money.”

The min­istry dis­missed ND’s crit­i­cism as petty par­ti­san pol­i­tics and ac­cused Harha­lakis of serv­ing the party’s “propaganda” strat­egy. Mean­while, ar­son in­ves­ti­ga­tors ar­rived on Kythira yes­ter­day to as­cer­tain the cause of the dev­as­tat­ing blaze, which was mostly con­tained yes­ter­day af­ter con­sum­ing at least 2,000 hectares of for­est and farm­land. Dozens of homes, as well as the Myr­tid­ion Monastery were evac­u­ated. No homes were de­stroyed.

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