Greece — Forest fires that ravaged Greece in August caused about 2 billion euros ($2.9 billion) in damage, a government official said today.
The amount exceeds a European Union threshold that qualifies members to request relief aid, Deputy Economy Minister John Papathanassiou told reporters in Athens today. Greece has already spent at least 300 million euros in immediate assistance to the victims.
A total 65 people were killed and hundreds of thousands of acres of forest and farmland were destroyed in the blazes that raged out of control for six days in August.
The European Commission may extend a deadline to complete EU co-funded projects in the affected areas by a year to 2009 to provide additional assistance, Papathanassiou said.