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08 September, 1999
Prime Minister Costas Simitis visited the Fourlis and Rikomex factories at 11.25 last night and was briefed by the fire brigade's chief and deputy chief on efforts being made to rescue people continuing to be trapped under the rubble. The visit took place after a second meeting was held at the Maximos Mansion on the consequences of the earthquake.
In a statement, Mr. Simitis expressed sadness for the earthquake victims and damage caused by the earthquake. He also extended his condolences to the families of fatalities and promised that the state will take care of all those who have suffered the consequences of the earthquake.
According to Mr. Simitis, rescue teams, which have been trying since noon to save people trapped under rubble will continue to work incessantly.
He said an extensive operation is already underway and rescue teams will work for as much as is necessary until they rescue all who have been trapped and find all who are dead.
Mr. Simitis said an assessment of damage caused will start today and the relevant government agency will convene again to decide what aid will be provided and how those who have suffered damage from the earthquake will be helped.
"The country has experienced many other earthquakes in the past as well. We have quite a bit of experience and the state mechanism's action today shows that we can overcome difficulties. We will work continuously and I am certain that, just as in the past, we will tackle the consequences of the earthquake even better today," he said.
Mr. Simitis was accompanied on his visit by Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis, Interior Minister Vasso Papandreou, Press Minister Dimitris Reppas and Deputy Public Works Minister Christos Verelis.
Source: Athens News Agency