Greece plans tougher penalties for arson after deadly wildfires

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Greece’s government is planning tougher penalties for arson after recent deadly wildfires devastated the Greek island of Rhodes.

Greek Civil Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias said the government planned to increase fines for arson or due to negligent behaviour up to 10 times the current level.

Mr Kikilias said the fines would match penalties introduced two years ago for the abuse of animals. Those carry a fine of up to 50,000 euros ($55,000) and a maximum jail sentence of 10 years.

Greek Civil Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias.

“The next fire season will find us in a different position. It’s not just the penalties — the fines will increase tenfold — but we need a… change in mentality,” the Greek Minister said in an interview on Monday.

The changes will be formally announced next month.

Greece battled 10 major wildfires last month, including blazes outside Athens and on the island of Rhodes, during three successive heat waves.

Source: AP News.

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