Death toll from Attica wildfires at 84; political parties seek to apportion blame

Death toll from Attica wildfires at 84; political parties seek to apportion blame
The death toll from the Attica wildfires rose to 84 as rescue crews continue to search for missing people.
 
Rescuers, including firemen and volunteers, combed through the areas burnt down by the wildfires looking for dozens reported missing, among them two 9-year-old twin sisters. Firefighters have managed to bring the fire on Gerania Ori under control.
 
The Infrastructure Ministry announced on Thursday that 1,218 buildings out of the 2,489 assessed by its engineers were deemed uninhabitable.
 
Meanwhile, at the end of the three-day national mourning period called by the Prime Minister, opposition parties have begun to apportion blame on the state mechanism and the government over the response to the devastating fires.
 
In a press conference Thursday, Citizen Protection Minister, Nikos Toskas said “we have serious indications of criminal acts… lots of fires appeared in a very short period of time.” He also said that he handed Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras his resignation but it was not accepted. He dismissed criticism that operational mistakes were made during the effort to put out the fires and evacuate the towns it hit.
 
Government spokesman, Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has ordered a judicial investigation to explore the response of the state mechanism to the fires.
 
Speaking to the BBC, Defense Minister Panos Kammenos said that “this is a crime from the past”, adding that the “coast of Athens, all these properties, the majority are without a license, and they have occupied the coast without rules.”
 
The comments of the government officials caused the reaction of opposition parties New Democracy, To Potami and Movement for Change.
 
Main opposition New Democracy has reportedly decided to call for a criminal investigation which will also explore the responsibility of the government and the Attica Regional Authority. Party spokeswoman Maria Spyraki is expected to raise a series of relevant questionson Friday…. / IBNA
Main Photo: At the centre, Citizen Protection minister Nikos Toskas during Thursday’s presser, with government spokesman, Dimitris Tzanakopoulos on his right-hand side