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Greece fire: relatives of victims demand answers

Greece fire: relatives of victims demand answers
By Mark Armstrong
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Following last month's deadly wildfire in Greece relatives of the victims are demanding answers as to how the rescue operation went so wrong


Two weeks after a deadly wildfire in Greece claimed at least 90 lives, relatives of the victims are demanding answers from the authorities about why a new evacuation plan was not implemented. The minister responsible for the police and fire services resigned on Friday and the heads of both branches have since been replaced.

Vangelis Bournous is the mayor of Rafina, which covers about half of the stricken area. He told euronews who he thinks was responsible for the rescue operation going so wrong:

''I believe that the fire department is to blame completely, and this is something that is going to be proven by the investigation, some are trying to avoid facing their responsibilities by whispering claims that they told local officials, these claims are not true. We have all the evidence to prove which ones are the liars''

Eyewitnesses say hundreds of people were forced into the sea but it's believed one thing that prevented them from getting there was the fencing around newly built houses.

''The crime was committed by the people that have built legal houses along the coastal road, said the mayor. "According to the law they were able to build legally, but these permits to build do not contain the authorisation to construct fencing of any kind. That's why they built hotels and pretty houses along the road. If we set up these areas with the same misguided characteristics, we will have a tragedy like that.''

Our correspondent in Greece, Fay Doulgkeri, said the goal of the local authorities and of the government is to restore the fire-stricken areas within one year, only without the walls and the fences that made it so difficult to get to the beach. The ones that are still standing will have to be torn down.

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