31 August, 2007
The state will rebuild residences destroyed by the barrage of wildfires this summer, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis emphasised on Thursday, following his meeting with both the relevant public works and town planning minister and the head of a newly emergency relief fund.
Karamanlis' comments came amid an array of immediate measures announced this week for fire-stricken households and regions, whereas he reiterated - for the third time this week - that bureaucratic "red tape" and delays must be slashed in dealing with the aftermath of the devastation.
On his part, Minister George Souflias said an initial assessment of damage in Messinia and Laconia prefectures, has been completed, whereas this will occur by the weekend for Arcadia, Ilia and Evia prefectures assuming the last of the wildfires are extinguished there. He added that the same environmental measures instituted after the destructive Mt. Parnitha wildfire in late June are in force for the latest barrage of fires.
Earlier, Karamanlis met with the head of the newly established special emergency and relief fund, veteran diplomat and former foreign minister Petros Molyviatis, as well as with the fund's board of directors.
Molyviatis was appointed on Tuesday to the helm of the fund, set up in the wake of the recent devastating wildfires in southern Greece.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Molyviatis said the prime minister assured him that the fund had his full support in its task and mission.
The purpose of the Fund is to finance programmes for the support and reinforcement of people who suffered losses in the ravaging fires, Molyviatis explained, adding that "this is what will be done, this is what we will do, and we will do it in a substantial and efficient way, and with full transparency".
Molyviatis said that the fund's resources emanating from the state budget and from donations by private individuals, organisations, banks, and other concerns.
The priority, he added, will be an initial programme for restoration of the area around Ancient Olympia.
Source: Athens News Agency