ATHENS - With a wildfire contained after raging for days near Athens, the Greek government faced a different kind of firestorm yesterday as media lambasted its response to the blaze as inadequate.
At least 150 homes have burned down, officials said, while tens of thousands of acres of pine forest, olive groves, brush, and farmland have been decimated. It was the most destructive blaze ever in the Attica region, and the worst in Greece since the 2007 wildfires that killed 76 people while laying waste to 679,500 acres.
Officials have not said how the fire started Friday night.
Several local mayors were sharply critical of the help they received from the government.
Government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said yesterday that the firefighting effort had been “well-coordinated,’’ but he did not comment on any specific criticisms.
Newspapers said, however, that the government had learned nothing from the 2007 wildfires, and had failed to improve fire protection measures and equipment. “Fatal errors and omissions,’’ the conservative daily Kathimerini said in a front-page headline. “The same mistakes were repeated all over.’’
In a scathing editorial, the daily Ta Nea claimed that “over the past five years . . . no new equipment has been purchased.’’