Bill on support for fire-afflicted areas passes on votes of ruling party

A draft law on measures to support those affected by the catastrophic fires in August and to restore the natural environment was approved solely on the votes of the ruling party on Tuesday evening.

The law ratifies legal acts on the measures, and was turned down by all opposition parties. Main opposition SYRIZA, the Communist Party, Greek Solution and MeRA25 voted against it, while Movement for Change (KINAL) voted “present”.

Presenting the draft law, Environment & Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas said it was “a practical and immediate response by the government to the challenges of the day after” and chastised the parties.

He asked in particular if they disagreed with the transfer of forest services to the Environment Ministry so they function better, or with the outsourcing of projects directly to cooperatives in fire-affected areas, or with the emergency funding of forest cooperatives so they may cover expenses and then assume to works that will protect their homes, or with the emergency funding for resin collectors.

“Why are you not supporting these measures since you don’t disagree?” Skrekas said to the main opposition party, adding, “You have to decide what kind of opposition you will exercise. Your leader, Alexis Tsipras, will have to decide whether you will exercise an opposition of ‘No to everything’ or a constructive opposition that will seek consensus on issues unrelated to parties, like climate change and its repercussions.”