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Public order minister: Wilfires on Zakynthos part of ‘organized plan’

Greece’s relevant public order minister on Tuesday said he was “certain” a recent major wildfire on the Ionian island of Zakynthos was the result of an “organized plan by arsonists”.

Nikos Toskas, who holds the law enforcement portfolio under the title of alternate minister for citizens protection, added that “possibly some want to see hotels where forests exist”.

His comments were aired during a radio interview, where he pointed to the fact that while another major wildfire was raging north of Athens, in the Kalamos district, 22 separate blazes erupted on Zakynthos.

The leftist-rightist government coalition, and Toskas personally, have faced scathing opposition criticism over the state’s response to this season’s wildfires.

The phenomenon of wildfires ravaging through rural southern Greece is not new, however, as destructive blazes have been recorded frequently over the past decades.