Slovakian PM Heger visits fire affected northern Attica: "We will rebuild and reforest"

Slovakian Prime Minister Eduard Heger Greece September 29, 2021.

Visiting Slovakian Prime Minister Eduard Heger and Attica Region Governor Giorgos Patoulis visited Varibobi, in northern Attica, on Wednesday where wildfires destroyed large areas in August.

Heger, who is in the Greek capital to participate in the Athens Democracy Forum, told Patoulis that his Slovakia will help Greece deal with the aftermath of the devastating fires that struck the region in the summer.

As he wrote in a tweet: "My first steps in Greece go straight to the burned areas in Attika region hit by wildfires this summer.

"We had sent a large team of firefighters to help, but our cooperation does not end here. We offer to rebuild and reforest.

"Climate change affects us all. We need 2 partners, Slovakia and Greece."

Eduard Heger Greece September 29, 2021.

Slovakian Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development Samuel Vlcan, who accompanied Heger, pointed out that his country has a 200-year experience in reforestation, as 42 pct of its land is covered by reforested areas.

"We want to show our Greek friends how we did it after the fires and how we solved our problems," Vlcan added.

He also proposed that the Academy of Athens - with its special climatology committee of experts - and the National Forest Centre in Zvolen, Slovakia, collaborate to demonstrate how successful reforestation is carried out.

After thanking Heger for his country's significant aid to Greece during the summer wildfires, Patoulis said that climate change requires that "Europe and the Mediterranean countries form a common framework for action aimed at preventing and protecting human lives from natural disasters."

In August 2021, Slovakia sent Greece some 75 firefighters and 30 fire engines to help the country manage the extensive fires.

At least 7,615 hectares (76,150 stremmas) of forest land burnt in northern Attica alone.

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