Greece Replaces Police, Fire Chiefs over Deadly Blazes



Inset: New Greek police chief Aristides Andrikopoulos and new fire department chief Vasileios Matthaiopoulos

The Greek government has replaced the heads of the Hellenic Police and the Fire Department in light of the recent blazes in East Attica that left 91 people dead and dozens injured.

The replacements follow Friday’s resignation of Deputy Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Toskas, responsible for the police and fire service administration.

The decision was taken at an extraordinary meeting of the government council on foreign policy and defense earlier on Sunday and the announcement was made by the prime minister’s press office.

Greece’s new Fire Department chief is Lt. Gen. Vasileios Matthaiopoulos, while Lt. Gen. Aristides Andrikopoulos is new police head. Both of them were deputies in their respective forces. They replaced Sotirios Terzoudis and Constantinos Tsouvalas respectively.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accepted the resignation of Toskas, who had refused to remain in office.

According to the prime minister’s press office, Interior Minister Panos Skourletis will be acting citizen protection minister.

On Monday, the country’s civil protection chief also stood down. Yiannis Kapakis handed in his resignation to Interior Minister Panos Skourletis.

New Greek Police Head Aristides Andrikopoulos
New Greek Fire Department Chief Vasileios Matthaiopoulos