Their homes destroyed, victims of the Greek wildfires are having to rely on emergency donations. Thousands of residents are returning to what is left of the villages ravaged by the flames, which claimed at least 63 lives. A special call centre has been set up in Athens for victims who need assistance and for those wanting to make donations. Government compensation is also being distributed. Emergency payments of 3,000 euros are being offered to those who have lost their homes: 10,000 is being given to families who have lost loved ones.
As authorities say many of the fires now look as if they are being brought under control, experts are moving in to assess the damage. Victims complain that they could never rebuild with the money they might receive. “We cannot rebuild anything,” said one woman. “Everything is destroyed. All the olives, the people who are staying here, they don’t have anything. All the olives are destroyed. We have our oil, we have our oranges, and now it’s nothing. Nothing, nothing. Everything is damaged.”
Just weeks ahead of a snap election, Greece’s conservative government has come under increasing attack for the way it dealt with the fires. Critics, including the opposition, accuse the government of incompetence, saying it did too little, too late.