MEP criticizes govt for not participating in joint RescEU program to fight natural disasters

Wednesday, 22 May 2019 13:24
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The Tsipras government's decision not to participate in a joint EU fleet of fire-fighting planes tasked with combating wildfires in the Union caused stepped up reactions in Greece this week.

Among others, MEP Nikos Androulakis, who represents the KINAL party, which mostly includes the once-dominant PASOK party, referred to an absurd decision.

The nascent EU fleet currently includes seven fixed-winged aircraft from Croatia, France, Italy and Spain, as well as six helicopters from Sweden. More resources are expected to be added in the coming period, part of the Union's RescEU's program for dealing, jointly, with natural disasters in EU members-states.

Androulakis, who was a rapporteur in the European Parliament during deliberations to create the program, charged that Greece was losing out on financing, of up to 75 percent, to repair and maintain currently grounded fire-fighting aircraft, namely, Canadairs.

The development comes after a high-profile statement by EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, touched on Greece's absence from the program.

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