The European Commission bears 75% of transportation-related costs, while Greece, Turkey, Albania and Macedonia face major fires.
The European Commission announced on Wednesday 4 August that it will send planes, helicopters and firefighters to Italy, Greece, Albania and North Macedonia to help these countries fight the fires.
Two Canadair planes, from France, have been dispatched to the affected areas in Italy, European executive details in a press release. She added that two firefighting planes from Cyprus are providing support to Greece, in addition to a fire team tasked with supporting operations on the ground. Two helicopters will also be sent to support operations in Albania by the Czech Republic and the Netherlands, and Slovenia will send a team of 45 firefighters to North Macedonia.
“An excellent example of EU solidarity”
This assistance is mobilized under the EU’s civil protection mechanism and the Commission covers at least 75% of the costs related to transportation. “We are working around the clock to send help with fires raging across Europe”, commented the European Commissioner in charge of Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic, thanking the contributing countries. “Civil Protection in the European Union ensures that our firefighting tools are used to their full potential. This is a great example of EU solidarity in times of need“He greeted him.
The European Union has already sent three water-based bombers this week to Turkey, which has suffered the worst fires in a decade. The fires, which killed eight people, destroyed forests and farmland as well as coastal areas.
And in Greece, which was hit by the worst heat wave in three decades in a week, firefighters battled several fires on Wednesday, including a major blaze north of Athens, where 300 people were evacuated on Tuesday evening.
In Albania, a man was killed Tuesday in a forest fire in the Gjirokastral region (south), where hundreds of firefighters and soldiers were fighting dozens of fires.
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