Death toll from Greek wildfire rises to 92 as first lawsuit filed

Source: Xinhua| 2018-07-31 00:40:06|Editor: yan
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by Maria Spiliopoulou

ATHENS, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Greek Coast Guard divers have recovered the body of another victim of the July 2 wildfire in Mati in eastern Attica in the sea area, bringing the death toll to 92, Greek national news agency AMNA reported on Monday.

And 25 persons remain missing after the devastated blaze hit the coastal resort 30 km east of Athens.

The government will restore the fire stricken areas and help all those hurt by adopting quick procedures that will be simple and without bureaucracy, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos told a press briefing on Monday, according to an e-mailed statement.

As of Tuesday those hurt by the fires can apply for financial assistance, he said.

Meanwhile, the judicial investigation into the causes of Greece's deadliest tragedy in over a decade was underway, as the central government, municipal authorities and the opposition parties continued a blame game over the factors which led to the catastrophe.

Rafina-Pikermi Mayor Evangelos Bournous was summoned to testify on Monday before a public prosecutor, Marathon Mayor Ilias Psinakis will follow on Tuesday, while the first lawsuit over the devastating fire was also filed on Monday with the chief prosecutor of the Athens Appeals Court, AMNA reported.

Retired navy officer Panagiotis Stamatis asked that charges against all persons responsible, including ministers, ministry staff, elected officials at the Attica regional authority and municipalities and others, are charged for murder, dereliction of duty, and violations of building regulations resulting in deaths.

Among others, he noted that none of the officials in authority had given orders for the evacuation of the settlements of Neos Voutzas and Mati.

A week after the tragedy, ordinary citizens were expected to gather outside the parliament in central Athens to light candles in memory of the victim.

The first call for a "silent gathering to say sorry to all the victims" was made via social media by Greek basketball player Yannis Gagaloudis.