Portugal and Greece to sign agreement in the area of civil protection – Observer
Portugal and Greece are going to sign a cooperation agreement in the area of civil protection that will allow them to share in preventing and fighting forest fires, the ministers responsible for this area in both countries announced this Tuesday.
“At this meeting we concluded the agreement on the memorandum of understanding and in the area of civil protection between Portugal and Greece and we will now, through diplomatic channels, agree when we will sign it as soon as possible”, said the minister of Internal Affairs, Eduardo Cabrita, at the end of a meeting with the minister of the Climate Crisis and Civil Protection of Greece, Christos Stylianides.
In a joint statement at the end of the meeting, Eduardo Cabrita explained that this agreement “allow sharing experiences between national civil protection structures“By placing Portugal at the disposal of Greece the experience of the last four years and which contributed to “a reduction in the number of fires and burnt area”.
The Portuguese minister stressed that the two countries have “common experiences”, arguing that the Portuguese model developed in the last four years after the 2017 fires must be shared, just as Portugal must learn from Greece in other areas.
Eduardo Cabrita added that the agreement will also allow us to work together, with the European Union, in the scope of the acquisition of new firefighting aircraft.
Greece and Portugal have already expressed their willingness to participate in this joint purchase of firefighting aircraft in Canada”, he said.
According to the Portuguese minister, this agreement will allow, at European level, “to share a common order”, “to share air resources that can be used all over the European Union and also to have better negotiations”.
“We believe that we will make a better negotiation if we do it on a European scale and not Portugal or Greece negotiating the acquisition of air assets alone,” he said.
The minister also considers it important to sign this agreement because Portugal and Greece have “problems in common”, namely they are countries affected by climate change, Mediterranean countries and where there is “a sometimes complex conjugation between areas affected by large-scale forest fires and areas with a very significant tourist presence“.
“This justifies bilateral cooperation between the two countries,” he maintained.
In turn, Greece’s Minister of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection said that the two countries face identical problems, which is why it is essential that they come together to face them.
“Portugal and Greece are actually more prone to natural disasters than other European countries and that is why we have to move forward with this excellent collaboration bilaterally, but also within the European framework”, maintained Christos Stylianides, former European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.
Eduardo Cabrita highlighted his performance as European commissioner: “He was the European commissioner responsible for the area of civil protection and played a decisive role in supporting Portugal after the 2017 fires and in the reformulation of the European civil protection system”.
Christos Stylianides is in Portugal to participate in the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction, which takes place between Wednesday and Friday in Matosinhos.