160 people arrested on arson charges for Greek wildfires for which the media previously said climate change was to blame
by Paul Sacca, August 27, 2023, theblaze.com
Greek officials arrested 160 people on arson charges for the wildfires that ravaged Greece this summer. Previously, the media almost exclusively blamed the Greek wildfires on climate change.
Wildfires have scorched Greece this summer. In the past week, at least 21 people – including two children – lost their lives in connection with the wildfires.
Fire department spokesman Ioannis Artopios said 60 firefighters had been injured attempting to extinguish the blaze as of Thursday.
Firefighters battled 99 separate wildfires across the country on Wednesday.
The wildfires have forced numerous evacuations during the summer months, including the main hospital of Alexandroupolis in northeast Greece.
The European Union’s Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic said that more than 180,400 acres burned in the port city of Alexandroupolis – making it the largest wildfire ever recorded among European Union countries, according to CNN.
Government spokesperson Pavlos Marinakis said that 160 people had been arrested across the country on arson charges, 42 of them accused of intentional arson and the remainder accused of setting fires through neglect, according to the New York Times.
Marinakis declared, “The culprits will face justice.”
The Associated Press reported, police searched the home of one alleged arsonist suspected of setting at least fires and found kindling, a fire torch gun, and pine needles.
Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias torched the fire-starting suspects as “arsonist scum.”
“You are committing a crime against the country,” Kikilias said during an emergency briefing on Thursday. “Arsonist scum are setting fires that threaten forests, property, and, most of all, human lives.”
He declared, “You will not get away with it, we will find you, you will be held accountable.”
Kikilias warned that the arsonists attempted to start new fires on Mount Parnitha – a densely forested mountain range roughly 30 miles north of Athens.
The media previously blamed climate change for the wildfires devastating Greece ~
Only a few weeks ago, CNN ran an article titled: “Why wildfires happen: Debunking the myth that arson is to blame more than climate change.”
The BBC declared, “Summer wildfires are common in Greece and scientists have linked the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, including heatwaves, to climate change.”
The following articles prominently mention climate change, but do not use the word “arson” at all in the articles.
Earlier this month, NBC News published an article with the headline: “Greek wildfires are the ‘harsh reality of climate change,’ experts warn.”
Politico Europe proclaimed in July, “Hundreds of people have been evacuated as wildfires rage in Greece, and Southern Europe faces another week of sweltering, above-40C temperatures in a heat wave that experts say is linked to climate change.”
In an opinion piece in The Guardian titled: “The lesson from the Greece wildfires? The climate crisis is coming for us all,” the writer claimed that a video of the Greek wildfires “could easily pass for a TV climate crisis awareness-raising campaign.”
The New York Times wrote in July, “The fiercest wildfires have hit only parts of a few islands. But the effects of climate change pose a far wider threat to Greece’s tourism industry.”
Last month, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told parliament: “The climate crisis is already here, it will manifest itself everywhere in the Mediterranean with greater disasters.”