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Brussels, 25 August 2007

Europe steps up efforts to combat forest fires in Greece

Europe has reacted quickly to Greece's plea for help as fire-fighting aircraft from France, Italy and Spain have been deployed or about to be despatched to the affected areas. Specialised helicopters are also being provided by Norway, Germany and the Netherlands. A total of 13 aircraft are currently reinforcing Greece's efforts in quelling the fires, in spite of adverse weather conditions

"Member States of the European Union have once again demonstrated their solidarity with a country in a moment of crisis. Their quick reaction to Greece's call for help will undoubtedly contribute to combating these forest fires effectively and hopefully prevent further casualties." said Stavros Dimas, Commissioner responsible for Environment and Civil Protection.

France deployed 4 water-bombing aircraft, Spain is providing two and Italy one. Norway's contribution adds to one specialised helicopter, whereas Germany and the Netherlands are providing three and two respectively.

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