In Greece, they have begun burying the victims of the forest fires which have ravaged the countryside there. Among the first of the 63 to be interred, a forestry worker who died in vain trying to save a mother and her four children from the flames. 43 year old Yannis Siordinis from Anilio had waited for years to land his dream job. Five days after he started it, he was dead, leaving a wife and two children. They called him a hero.
Seven days on, and the last of the fires are being tackled by German helicopters – just part of the international effort sent to help Greek emergency services. The government, already the focus of heavy criticism for its handling of the fires, has said 24-million euros has been handed out in compensation so far. Villagers queued up at banks from early morning to claim their 3,000 euro individual payments. The government has set aside 300-million euros in all, a move political analysts believe will help them in the run-up to next month’s election. The latest opinion polls have shown the ruling conservative New Democracy edging towards a narrow win.