Greek PM visits wildfire-stricken town of Mati

mitsotakis mati
mitsotakis mati
*Image Credit: Eurokinissi

Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited the fire-stricken resort of Mati, one week after the two-year anniversary of the tragedy which claimed 102 lives.

Mitsotakis said that the main challenge facing his government was to rebuild Mati so that it will be much better than before.

"This government has dealt very systematically with the issue of Mati. I am not talking only about clearing plots of land or removing asbestos, or sorting out outstanding issues concerning burn patients. Our big challenge was to make the area much better than it was before and we cannot do this unless we have a special town plan," the PM said.

He spoke with local residents about the two new projects that are now being initiated to restore the town:  the use of two pieces of land to serve the needs of the local community, one for the construction of a model social housing complex to house those left homeless by the fires and a second to create a park that will serve as a green space, fire break and memorial for the dead.

The PM visited the land allocated for the park, on the site of a former summer camp owned by NAT-EFKA. "There will be a very beautiful and large park here, which is absolutely essential for the area," Mitsotakis said, while he also addressed the Ambassador of Cyprus in Athens, Kyriakos Kenevezos, who had accompanied him on the visit, expressing his thanks to the Republic of Cyprus and its president Nicos Anastasiades for supporting the project.

"In consultation with President Anastasiades also, one of the two important initiatives that Cyprus will undertake is to create here, for the residents of this area, a park that will have the features of a memorial park. At the same time, however, it will be a model green space and fully usable by the area's residents," Mitsotakis added, noting that this was a "great legacy".

Afterwards, the Prime Minister visited the spot where a social housing complex will be erected, on roughly four hectares of land provided for this purpose by the Church of Greece, near Marathonos Avenue. "The Church of Greece has proven many times that it places its property, when this is needed, at the service of the common good, as it is doing now," Mitsotakis said, thanking the Church for granting a portion of the property for this important project to house fire victims, "so that we can provide shelter with criteria that will be strictly set so that they are absolutely fair to our fellow citizens, who have now lost their primary residence to the fire and wish to remain in the area."

Before leaving Mati, Mitsotakis visited the recently unveiled monument for the 102 victims of the fire and placed a white rose on the inscription placed there.

We will not forget Mati, says Greek PM