Greece has offered “holiday vouchers” to firefighters from foreign countries that responded to the call for assistance. A joint ministerial decision was legislated last Friday, August 13, 2021, as a form of gratitude for the foreign aid.
According to the legislation, members of the foreign missions of the fire brigades, who helped in the difficult task of firefighting, are eligible to a holiday voucher.
The voucher allows them to receive touristic services.
The joint decision – Article 28 – by the Ministers of Tourism, Finance, Development & Investment and Digital Governance, specifies the type of financial facility (voucher), its beneficiaries, the manner of its issuance and credit, the amount, the duration of provided services, the conditions and the period of use of the voucher as well as the necessary documents that need to be submitted by the beneficiaries.
The decision was published in the official gazette on August 13.
Hundreds of firefighters from 11 EU countries and 12 non-EU countries came to Greece to help it combat the big fire fronts that burned down thousands of hectares of forest and agricultural land, destroyed livestock and wildlife, houses and businesses since the beginning of the month.
While the majority of the foreign firefighters have left Greece, a team of 143 firefighters from Poland are still fighting the blaze in Villia, north-western Attica.
Minister of Citizen Protection Michalis Chrychoidis said on Thursday that Romania had offered to send firefighters with vehicles once more, after the more than 100 who had been operating in Greece earlier this month returned home.
Greece had accepted the offer “with gratitude,” the minister said. He did not specify how many Romanian firefighters would be involved or when they would be arriving.