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Greece: major blazes under control

The battle against wildfires in Greece is slowly being won and all major blazes are now said to be under control. The disaster has killed at least 63 people and left thousands homeless. Russia has sent a second water bombing plane to help the emergency se

Damage caused by the wildfires is estimated to run to at least 1.2 BLN euros.

Around 200,000 hectares of forest have been destroyed and whether or not temperatures have cooled, the politics are getting heated.

With snap elections looming, the government has been quick to offer compensation of 3,000 Euros to those whose houses have been destroyed. They also say that they are going to rebuild every home that has been destroyed by fire.

Meanwhile, the EU has pledged around 200 MLN euros in financial aid. The U.S. and China have also offered help and will give around $US 1 MLN in technical assistance and financial aid.

Greek authorities say arsonists are to blame, while an exceptionally hot summer following a winter of drought turned Greece into a tinderbox and, with strong winds fanning the flames, a bad fire season seemed almost inevitable.

Even so, many are blaming the government for a lack of investment in forest maintenance and fire prevention.

There has been widespread public anger over the government’s handling of the fires. Protesters criticise the ruling New Democracy party for its inadequate and slow response.