The general secretary of Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias thanked the crews of the firefighting aircraft from Italy and Spain that took part in the operation in Evia at an event to honour them.
The specific event was of special importance as it was the first time that the programme rescEU of the European Civil Protection mechanism was activated
“Your contribution constitutes a tangible proof of the common European values as the European solidarity and the protection of the lives and assets of the European citizens” said Hardalias.
“Let me start be saying that a friend in need is a friend indeed” Hardalias said adding “It is, thus, with sincere gratitude that I present you this award, as a small token of our profound admiration, on behalf of the government of Greece and the Greek Civil Protection. Let me also highlight that you have earned the deepest esteem of the entire Greek people. Your bravery and courage inspires us all. Your abnegation proved tangibly that Italy and Spain, along with the European Union, stood in full solidarity with Greece at this difficult time. Your immediate response to Greece’s request for assistance also proved the added value of rescEU – a robust, quick and efficient mechanism to our mutual benefit. Moreover, this is a real example of our common European values: solidarity and protection of lives of all European citizens. Please, let me reiterate how thankful we are to Italy and Spain for their offers of assistance”.
On their part, the heads of the Italian and the Spanish teams thanked Hardalias for the hospitality and expressed their admiration over the Greek pilots’ efforts and mostly over the firefighters’ efforts.
The representative of the European Commission Eleftherios Manoussis said that EU will support further support the civil protection in Europe.
The Italian and Spanish authorities responded immediately to Greece’s request for support via the European Mechanism of Civil protection and especially through the programme rescEU. Italy sent two and Spain two firefighting aircraft CL-415.