The European Union has swiftly moved to help Greece with the devastating fires ravaging the country by sending two firefighting planes from Cyprus, on top of a firefighting team to support operations on the ground.
The EU responded also to emergencies in other Member States and has sent two Canadair firefighting airplanes from France to affected areas in Italy, two helicopters to support operations in Albania dispatched from Czechia and the Netherlands while Slovenia is sending a team of 45 firefighters to North Macedonia.
Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič said: “We are working around the clock to send help as fires rage across Europe. I thank Cyprus, Czechia, France, Slovenia and the Netherlands for swiftly deploying firefighting airplanes, helicopters and a team of firefighters to support countries heavily affected by forest fires. At this time as several Mediterranean countries are facing fires, EU Civil Protection makes sure that our firefighting tools in place are used at maximum capacity. This is an excellent example of EU solidarity in times of need.”
Greece’s Civil Protection Deputy Minister for Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias, also confirmed that Sweden is sending two air tractor “Fire Bosses” whilst supported by Beriev Be-200 Altair aircraft it leased from Russia which have a water containment capacity of 12,000 litres.
Meanwhile, the President of Israel Isaac Herzog contacted the President of the Hellenic Republic Mrs Katerina Sakellaropoulou last night and expressed his support for the catastrophic fires, as well as the hope that the situation will soon be brought under full control and the losses will be limited only to material damage. He also briefed her on the help his country has already provided for extinguishing the fire.
Ms. Sakellaropoulou warmly thanked her Israeli counterpart for her support and assistance.