Amid growing anger and resentment in the Greek public over the failure of the state to effectively respond to the wildfires in Attica, which claimed 84 lives, the Greek government alleged there were “serious indications of criminal acts and arson”. In a hastily-organised press briefing on Thursday, Nikos Toskas, the alternate minister of the citizens’ protection ministry, said he tendered his resignation to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, with the latter declining to accept it.
The death toll from the devastating wildfire that hit a coastal stretch eastern Attica prefecture, centred at the Mati settlement, is now at 84, with dozens of people still missing.
With the government spokesman, Dimitris Tzanakopoulos by his side, and with the heads of the police and fire brigade also appearing before reporters and cameras, Toskas maintained that the eruption of numerous blazes within a short period of time “leaves clear indications of the work of arsonists”.
He also referred to a “finding” near Mt. Penteli, to the west of where the deadly wildfire front emerged, that has significantly aided investigations, although he declined to provide more details.
Beyond the references to “arson”, the government side also cited what it called “extreme weather conditions”, namely, gale force winds blowing at the time.