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.
As Greece braces for the peak of what is expected to be a record-breaking heatwave, public calls to limit power usage have prompted a fierce response from opposition parties to the state of the government’s planning for extreme weather events.
The annual political clash over the response to wildfires in Greece began in earnest this weekend as blazes raged in various parts of Greece, particularly Achaia and Rhodes.
Parliament has been voting on some of the government’s reform bills but the political and media attention has mostly been focussed on MPs’ annual derivation of wealth declarations.
The government has succeeded in passing another raft of reforms to the education system despite stiff opposition from minority parliamentary parties and teachers’ unions.
Despite the recent slowdown, Greece’s vaccination programme reached another landmark on Tuesday, when the number of fully vaccinated Greeks passed 5 million.
Vaccination uptake in Greece is grinding to a halt, with authorities struggling to respond to a combination of vaccine hesitancy and an increasingly active anti-vaccination front.