The Greek prime minister called his cabinet together for an emergency meeting to discuss the best way forward in the country’s fire crisis. The blazes could not have come at a worse time for Costas Karamanlis, just weeks away from a snap election.
Despite insisting that the government has done its best in the face of difficult conditions, the prime minister is under increasing pressure. “We are depressed, confronted with the incompetence of today’s government, which failed even to preserve lives,” said the head of the opposition PASOK party. “Forests, life, cattle, agriculture have disappeared; local economies have been destroyed. We all feel indignation for the biggest ecological catastrophe in recent Greek history.”
Observers say there is no doubt the fires will be a major issue ahead of the elections next month. The government says it will continue what it calls a determined struggle against the fires, saying the focus has to be on helping the victims.