Greece wildfires: 79 people arrested for arson
Greece police have arrested 79 people over the recent wildfires ravaging the country. Vassilis Kikilias, the Minister of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection of Greece, said that the arrested people tried to start new fires on Mount Parnitha, a densely forested mountain range north of Athens.
Greece wildfires have already killed at least 20 people this week, giving tension to the authorities and people.
Civil Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias said, “You are committing a crime against the country.” The minister said during a televised emergency briefing on Thursday, “Arsonist scum are setting fires that threaten forests, property and, most of all, human lives.” He went on to slam the arrested people for causing problems in the country. He reportedly told them, “You will not get away with it, we will find you, you will be held accountable.”
Police and the Greek intelligence service said that they were investigating the whole incident. Civil Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias called the arrested people “arsonist scum.”
Greece witnesses frequent summer wildfires, and experts have connected climate change to the escalating frequency and severity of extreme weather events, including heatwaves and summer wildfires in the country.
According to reports, Greece has been battling deadly wildfires. Mount Parnitha near Athens is affected because of the wildfires. Greece has seen a number of wildfires since July 17, 2023. Reportedly, it led to a killing of 35 people. So far, more than 80 wildfires have been recorded. Many people have been forced to flee because of this reason.
Ano Liosia in Athens’ northwest has been ordered to evacuate people as a result of nearby fires. Officials from the European Union have also attributed the escalating frequency and intensity of wildfires in Europe to climate change. They urged authorities to take important actions. Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou also urged authorities to take action.