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Fires rage in Greece – PM warns: ‘Facing a dangerous summer’

Fires rage in Greece – PM warns: ‘Facing a dangerous summer’

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis held a press conference on Monday, warning that the country is facing a dangerous summer. Forest fires are common in summer in Greece, but this year looks set to be worse, according to the prime minister.

Prolonged drought and unusually strong winds in the country mean the fires are becoming more intense.

Over the weekend, dozens of fires broke out across Greece, including two near the capital Athens. At least four homes and several cars were said to have been completely destroyed in the blaze that hit the town of Keratea, about three miles southeast of Athens, on Sunday. Residents in several areas were advised to evacuate.

– Mitsotakis said on Monday that the summer is expected to be particularly dangerous and that difficult times lie ahead for all of us.

Has stepped up

The country has stepped up its preparations this year by hiring more staff and increasing training after last year’s fires forced some 19,000 people to flee the popular tourist island of Rhodes. Twenty people also died in the fires in northern Greece.

“Our arsenal may be stronger, but nothing beats being prepared and helping the community together in the face of these natural hazards,” the Prime Minister said, praising the country’s firefighters.

According to researchers, climate change is the reason behind the increase in the frequency and severity of fires.

Foreign Ministry: “We are closely monitoring the risks”

According to the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it is closely monitoring the situation and urges all Swedes who are in Greece or who are planning to visit to stay informed.

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“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the relevant Swedish foreign authorities, including the Embassy in Athens, are closely monitoring the risk of extreme heat and wildfires in areas visited by many Swedes during the summer. The advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the same before all trips abroad: prepare carefully for your trip, read the destination and make sure you are insured.” The Ministry of Foreign Affairs writes in a comment.