A major fire broke out on 30.7.2012 in the villages of Martha, Chondros, Kato Viannos, Pervola, Keratokambos, Vachos and Dermatos in the municipality of Viannos in Crete. It is estimated that 150 000 olive trees, large areas of crops, houses, warehouses, 35 km of municipal irrigation networks, many private networks, sheep and goats, beehives and greenhouses were destroyed. This destruction was caused by the utter lack of planning and appropriate infrastructures to prevent and stamp out fires at an early stage. This year the municipality of Viannos, where there were 184 fires between 2001 and 2011, received funding of only 19 700 euros from the Civil Protection authorities. This is the result of the policy of successive Greek governments, the commercialisation of the mountains and the CAP at the expense of small stockbreeders. The strategy of the EU and pro-capital governments to pursue so-called green growth withdraws resources from necessary fire protection infrastructures to use them as free ‘hot’ money, which is fast-tracked to monopolistic groups for speculative ‘strategic investments’.
In view of the above, will the Commission say: who benefits from the fact that Community regional policy funds are being channelled to projects according to criterion of competitiveness, i.e. the profitability they promise for private monopolistic groups, instead of being directed to projects of vital importance for ordinary people, such as fire prevention and water supplies?
How does it view the demands of local inhabitants namely:
The municipality of Viannos should be declared a fire-stricken area and emergency financial assistance granted to the municipality of Viannos to address the increasing infrastructure problems and the payment by residents of the municipal irrigation and water supply charges should be suspended;
100 % compensation should be paid for damage to houses, crops, agricultural facilities, irrigation networks and municipal infrastructure as well as compensation for loss of income and aid granted in the form of animal feed for stockbreeders;
The recruitment of firefighters, permanent contracts for seasonal fire-fighting personnel and an increase in the number of helicopters on the island together with the construction of flood and fire prevention schemes;
The creation of a uniform State agency for the overall management and protection of forests, backed up with sufficient resources, personnel and adequate funding?