Kurdish refugees left homeless in Greece after wildfire

  Kurdish refugees left homeless in Greece after wildfire

27 August 2009

published by www.fresnobee.com

Greece — Scores of Kurdish refugees living in Greece have been left homeless after their camp was destroyed by a huge wildfire on the outskirts of Athens, a local residents group said Thursday.

The fire tore through the former holiday camp on Mount Penteli, on the northern edge of the Greek capital, where the 120 Kurds were housed.

The refugees, who worked locally, had been at the camp since 1997 when it was fitted out for them by medical aid group Medecins du Monde.

The Penteli residents committee urged authorities to find a solution so the stricken refugees could be “rehoused in the same place” and continue working.

More than 100 houses suffered serious damage during the raging fires at the weekend in the northeast of Attica, the region around Athens.

About 20,000 hectares (49,400 acres) of forest and farmland were destroyed in the blaze, according to a provisional assessment by authorities.

The government has announced a plan to compensate people whose properties were devastated by the blazes.

The Kurds are members of an ethnic and linguistic group and live across parts of Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria but also have a vast global diaspora.

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