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Cyprus mission largest among international fire fighting teams in Greece
2007-08-30 09:29:26

Nicosia, Aug 29 - Cyprus has sent the largest firefighting mission of firemen and volunteers to Greece, to combat the huge blazes that have reduced vast expanses of the country to ashes over the past few days.

A total of 137 Cypriot firemen, assisted by 12 fire engines from the island's Fire Department, are currently in Greece, where they have joined forces with the Greek firefighters in Aliveri and Mount Seta of Euboea, Matesi in Elea, Lala area and Foloi forest near ancient Olympia in Peloponnesus.

The Cypriot firemen, along with members of Cyprus' Civil Defence and volunteers, were trying to contain and extinguish the fires, in addition to guarding areas to prevent any rekindling of fires.

Prime Minister of Greece Costas Karamanlis has expressed gratitude for the assistance offered by other countries and admiration for their altruism in carrying out the difficult task of fighting the raging fires. He also thanked them for their solidarity with the people of
Greece.

Mayor of the
village of Aliveri in Greece Katerina Karapa has told Cypriot Minister of the Interior Christos Patsalides that ''Aliveri was saved thanks to the Cypriots.''

Greek Government Spokesman Theodoros Rousopoulos has stated that the villages of Artemida, Makitsos and Smerna were in a dire situation, noting that these were the communities with the most victims.

The Government of Cyprus decided to reconstruct the Greek village of Artemida in Peloponnesus as soon as possible. Government Spokesman Vasilis Palmas told reporters the village was chosen following consultations with the Greek government.

He also conveyed the Government’s appeal that all money collected to be deposited in the accounts which the government of
Cyprus has opened, so that after Artemida is reconstructed, “we can try to reconstruct one more village”.

Mr. Palmas said that as soon as the Greek government sends the necessary information required, the Cypriot government will start construction work.

For financial contributions to aid victims and the reconstruction of destroyed areas the Goverment of Greece has established the following relief fund:

“Special Account for the Relief of the Victims of Fire”
Account Number 2341103053 (Bank of
Greece)
(Swift/BIC: BNGRGRAA, IBAN: GR 9801000230000002341103053)

[funds can be transferred in any currency]

Contributions can also be made through the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association's (AHEPA) website:
https://secure.doublematrix.com/ahepaonline-com/contribute.aspx

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