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Fires in the EU

24.7.2018 – The Commission’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre is working 24/7 and is in constant contact with the authorities of Greece, Sweden and Latvia which have all requested EU support following the unprecedented forest fires which are raging across Europe. Following the devastating fires in Greece, President Juncker spoke to President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Prime Minister Tsipras to express his sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims. In a letter to the Prime Minister, President Juncker reiterated that everything will be done to support Greece during these difficult times. Yesterday evening Greece requested EU support through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. In an immediate response, Cyprus, Spain and Bulgaria made swift offers of concrete assistance including planes, firefighters, medics and vehicles. Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides is travelling to Athens today and has published a statement with the details of his visit, during which he will meet the Greek civil protection authorities and coordinate the EU’s assistance already on its way. For Sweden, EU support continues with planes, firefighters and vehicles, already operating in the affected areas. For Latvia, the EU’s Copernicus Satellite system has been activated to assist the national authorities with emergency mapping of the risk areas. The Commission will remain in contact with the states participating in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to provide all possible further assistance. The Commission has proposed to strengthen EU civil protection response through rescEU – so that when multiple disasters hit Member States they are better prepared to confront them.

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