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EU helps fight forest fires in Greece

BRUSSELS, Aug. 27 — Greece is receiving support through the European Union (EU)'s Civil Protection Mechanism to fight the forest fires raging in the central part of the country, a EU statement said Tuesday.

"Forest fires are a risk we face every summer and this year is no exception. We will continue to support the efforts of Greece to prevent the fire from spreading towards populated areas," said Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.

"The Commission is grateful to France for its prompt gesture of solidarity. I hope that other Member States will also be able to offer assistance," she said.

Two of France's fire-fighting planes are already operating in the affected areas, according to the statement.

Greece has also activated the satellite imagery service of the European Commission.

The fire that broke out last weekend in a forest region near Kalabaka, central Greece, has burnt around 400 hectares of land and is still active.

The European Civil Protection Mechanism facilitates cooperation in disaster response among 31 European states (EU-28 plus Norway, Iceland, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). (PNA/Xinhua)


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