Greece’s Ministers of Finance Christos Staikouras and Energy and Environment Kostas Skrekas along with the general secretary of Economic Policy Christos Triantopoulos announced details regarding aid for fire victims on Tuesday afternoon.
A total of 500 million euros has been allocated for aid to those who have lost their homes, possessions, and businesses in the catastrophic fires that have plagued Greece for over a week.
The decisions on the specific measures to support the fire victims and for the reconstruction of fire-affected areas were taken at the cabinet meeting that was held in Maximos Mansion in Athens earlier on Tuesday.
A separate meeting was held on Monday evening in the Greek Prime Minister‘s office with a series of officials of the Greek government and ministers.
The Measures Announced by the Government
All applications for compensation will have to go through a dedicated online platform that will be created specifically for this reason.
People who have suffered damage to their properties will be categorized according to the magnitude of the damage incurred, be it a home or a businesses.
Those who have lost their homes will receive payments of up to €150,000 ($175,750), yet the state will also provide advance payments to fire victims depending on the level of damage their houses have suffered.
For those with property that has been completely destroyed, the State will provide an immediate payment of €20,000 ($23,500).
For those properties with extensive damage that can still be repaired or restored, the State will provide a handout of €12,000 ($14,052).
For minor damage, people will be able to claim an advance payment of €8,000 ($9,369).
Greece’s plan for aid to those impacted by fires
Additionally, the Greek state will help those who have lost their homes in covering the cost of their rent once they have found a place to stay.
The online platform for victims of the fire to claim their damages will be open within the week.
Greek PM Mitsotakis stressed that the bureaucratic process of receiving funds would be minimal so that those impacted by the disastrous fires can receive aid quickly.
Additionally, the government stated that those affected by the wildfires will not be charged any taxes, including ENFIA (Greece’s property tax), social security contributions or other tax charges for the money given to them by the state.
In addition, specifically for the island of Evia, the Greek government will offer a specialized package of support for farmers and business owners who will not be able to return to their professions due to the magnitude of the catastrophe.
Reforestation and anti-climate change measures
A massive amount of Greece’s pristine forestland that was reduced to ash by the fires. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced Tuesday that the government would head an immense reforestation effort.
Over 16 billion euros will be invested from now until 2027 in supporting Greece’s natural environment and fighting climate change.
A total of 224 million euros will be invested into the reforestation effort alone, while over one billion euros will be used to promote biodiversity and reforestation in areas that have been destroyed by the fire.
Officials and experts estimate that the reforestation effort could take decades in Greece as upwards of 12% of the country’s forestland has been lost in the blaze.