Greece to begin laying wildfire victims to rest amid recriminations

ATHENS: Greece will begin burying the victims this weekend of a devastating wildfire near Athens which killed at least 88 people and raised recriminations over the government’s handling of the disaster.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras took political responsibility on Friday for the tragedy after dropping from public view for three days.

At least 50 dead in Greek wildfires

Opposition leaders accused the government of failing to adequately safeguard lives, and officials said the death toll could rise yet further.

On Sunday, three members of the same family are due to be laid to rest in the first known funeral since the blaze broke out on Monday in the seaside village of Mati, 30 km (17 miles) east of the Greek capital Athens.

“We will say our final goodbye to our much-loved Grigoris, Evita and Andreas … tragic victims in Mati,” the Fytrou family said in a statement published by the Athens news agency, asking media not to attend.

Rescuers search fire-devastated Greek areas as toll hits 81

The government has announced a long list of relief measures and promised to tackle decades-old problems, including haphazard and unlicensed residential building, to minimize the risk of a repeat disaster and cool public anger.

A deputy mayor in Marathon, which administers some of the fire-affected area, on Saturday became the first official to resign over the wildfire.

Firefighters say around 160 residents have been briefly trapped in their homes due to the flooding

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