Greek PM announces €300 million in extra funding to fight climate 'war'

© Vaggelis Kousioras, AP

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Saturday announced a further 300 million euros to fight the effects of climate change, acknowledging the scale of the crisis facing the country.

He was speaking as the death toll from the week's floods that swept across the centre of the country reached 17, including two Austrian tourists.

"Greece is facing a war in a time of peace," Mitsotakis said in a speech in the northern city of Thessaloniki.

"Over a two-week period, we experienced the worst wildfire and the worst floods in our history," he added.

"The climate crisis is here and forces us to see everything differently," he said.

Reconstructing infrastructure was urgent, said Mitsotakis, announcing a 300-million-euro boost to a special fund for tackling the effects of climate change, bringing the total to 600 million.

The additional money would come from an increase in the accommodation fees charged to tourists, "especially in the very expensive hotels" he added.

The death toll from Storm Daniel, which swept through the central region of Thessaly, rose to 17, Athens News Agency reported Saturday.

DNA lab tests confirmed that two of the bodies found last week belonged to an Austrian couple missing for more than a week, said police sources.

Livestock, crops destroyed

The floods this week in the Thessaly region caused by Storm Daniel also drowned 110,000 farm animals and wiped out a quarter of Greece's annual agricultural production, say experts.

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