Portugal moves to help Greece, Sweden following devastating fires

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 26-07-2018 14:15:00 · 0 Comments
Portugal moves to help Greece, Sweden following devastating fires

The Portuguese government has sent two medium-sized amphibious aircraft to Sweden to help fight the wildfires there following a request from the Swedish government to the European Civil Protection Mechanism.

As well as the two aircraft, the Portuguese air force is also sending a support flight with about 700 kg of equipment to support the two planes.
The support flight will also carry eight Portuguese Civil Protection members including mechanics, pilots and technicians.
Portugal told the European Civil Protection Mechanism on Friday that it was willing to send help to fight the forest fires that have been affecting Sweden for several days.
Normally at this time of year, it is Portugal that needs help to put out huge fires, but the unusual weather this year means Portugal has often been cool and overcast, bad for the beach but great to avoid wildfires.
In related news, on Tuesday, Portugal’s president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, spoke with his counterpart in Greece, Prokopios Pavlopoulos, to offer his condolences for the deaths of dozens of people in fires in that country and expressed solidarity with its people, while the prime minister said Portugal stands ready to do what it can to help.
A statement posted on the website of the office of the presidency said that de Sousa “spoke at length on the telephone” with Pavlopoulos, “expressing the most heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, as well as a wish for the rapid improvement to all the injured.

“He also transmitted his profound fraternal solidarity with the Greek people, remembering the tragedy of the same kind that we experienced in Portugal last year,” the statement reads.
Meanwhile, Portugal’s prime minister, António Costa, said in a post on social media that he had already “transmitted to the prime minister [of Greece, Alexis] Tsipras, Portuguese readiness and solidarity and condolences to the Greek people and the mourning families.”
Officials reached out to their counterparts in Greece, in the words of the note from the presidency’s office, “in the light of the horribly tragic consequences arising from the strong fires that have been devastating Greece, with dozens of mortal victims and more than a hundred wounded.”
The fires have so far claimed dozens of lived and left scores injured, some of them in critical condition.
Some countries have already responded to a request by Greece’s government on Monday night for help in fighting the fires. Portugal is to send 50 members of its Special Fire Force (FEB) to help fight the fires in Greece, the minister of internal administration has said.
De Sousa undertook a state visit to Greece in March this year, at the invitation of his counterpart there.
He has also sent messages of solidarity to the King of Sweden and the King of Norway following the fires in those countries. His office said in another note published on Tuesday that Portugal had provided aircraft to help fight the fires in Sweden as part of its participation in the European Union’s civil protection mechanism.



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