The suppression of the previous week’s catastrophic wildfires and the traditional end of the Greek summer holiday season is giving the country’s political forces an opportunity to regroup and prepare the agenda for the return to business.
Greece and Turkey are seemingly enjoying a calm period in their diplomatic relations this summer, but Athens is expecting things to warm up over the autumn.
After facing journalists on Thursday to defend his government’s handling of the recent wildfires, as well as its overall record, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced on Friday a small shake-up in some key posts, mostly related to the team around him.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis gave an extended press conference on Thursday as part of what is seen as a concerted effort by the government to address the criticism it has faced over the management of the catastrophic forest fires of the prior week.
The government has set out a three-step process for helping the fire-stricken areas of Greece recover from this summer’s devastating wildfires, starting with an immediate compensation programme that New Democracy hopes will help it deflect some of the criticism regarding the response to the blazes, particularly in Evia.
An apology issued by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for the management of the wildfires which continue to burn across parts of Greece has been greeted with extreme scepticism by the opposition, as public disbelief and anger continue to mount.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his government are coming under greater pressure by the day as the authorities struggle to contain and extinguish wildfires in Greece, particularly on the island of Evia, where more than 45,000 hectares of land has been burnt since the blaze began there last week.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis made a televised address on Thursday night in which he stressed that authorities are prioritising saving lives over protecting property and nature as Greece battles dozens of wildfires, including a large blaze north of Athens.
A number of large wildfires continue to burn across Greece, threatening inhabited areas and piling the pressure on the country’s civil defence mechanisms and the political leadership.
A wildfire that broke out on Tuesday north of Athens has put the government’s ability to tackle such natural disasters under further scrutiny after New Democracy promised a more professional approach than its predecessor, SYRIZA.