Greece buries wildfire victims

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By Euronews
Greece buries wildfire victims

Greece begins the painful task of burying the victims this weekend of a devastating wildfire near Athens which killed at least 88 people.

The government has announced a long list of relief measures and promised to tackle decades-old problems, including unlicensed residential building, to minimise the risk of a repeat disaster and cool public anger.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has taken political responsibility for the tragedy, a move some Greeks see as an empty gesture.

"What can you say? He took responsibility for the fire, so what? What is he going to do?," asked Despoina Bibitsi, a vacation homeowner in Mati. "Was it his children who were burned? What does it mean that he took responsibility? Shouldn't someone come here and say: 'You know what, this is our responsibility and we will improve it'? What was done, here in Mati, to prevent this?"

A sentiment echoed by other Mati residents.

"So many people died, it (Tsipras taking responsibility) doesn't mean anything, and furthermore he accused everyone here of building their homes outside the urban planning area," said Tzanis Zouganelis.

After the fire came the rain as a storm broke out in the ravaged region east of the capital .

The heavy downpours prompted fears that the work of rescue crews and efforts by locals to salvage what they can from the fire could be made even more difficult.