Greek Minister Resigns Over Deadly Fires

Nikos Toskas, the Citizens’ Protection Minister, resigned from his post on Friday following the deadly fires that devastated resorts in eastern Attica on July 23.

Toskas, who was under fire for the ineffective and uncoordinated way Greek emergency services coped with the disaster, handed in his resignation to Premier Alexis Tsipras.

In a statement, he thanked Tsipras for entrusting him with the government post, but said that “the natural disaster and loss of so many of our fellow citizens in Mati surpass my desire to continue.”

His duties will be passed on to Interior Minister Panos Skourletis.

The government has been fiercely denounced over the way it handled the fire, which left more than 87 dead and scores injured.

More than 1,000 buildings must be demolished while the environmental groups said the fire was the deadliest in the country’s history, scorching 17,000 acres of forestland and residential areas.