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EU responds to call for help from Greece and Tunisia

The EU said it has stepped in to reinforce firefighting efforts and provide much-needed support to Greece and Tunisia, which have activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism after grappling with rapidly spreading wildfires.

The European Commission said in a press release that the EU swiftly responded to the two countries’ call, with the deployment of over 490 firefighters and nine firefighting planes.

Ten countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Italy, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Serbia) are contributing to the EU Civil Protection Mechanism's response to the wildfires in Greece. In total, over 490 firefighters and seven planes have been deployed to different areas of the country. One EU Liaison Officer is supporting the coordination of operations in Greece and the EU's Copernicus satellite mapping is providing damage assessment on several areas in the Attica region and Rhodes.

In addition, two Canadairs from the rescEU reserve hosted by Spain are being deployed to northwest Tunisia.

The Commission says that the wildfires, fuelled by dry weather conditions and high temperatures, are posing a severe threat to lives, livelihoods, and ecosystems across the Mediterranean.

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