Prime Minister’s speech to the nation regarding the forest fires

Prime Minister António Costa said that “on the part of the Government they can count on a total determination in the assumption of responsibilities, in the reconstruction of the territories and in the repreparation of damages, in the execution of the reforms of the forest and of the model of prevention and combat to forest fires”, in a statement on the forest fires of 15 and 16 October .

However, “this has to be the collective and collective effort of the whole society. Only then will we live up to the requirement that we all share: after this year, nothing can remain as before, “he said.

Referring to the fact that in two days “the country has been plagued by the largest wave of fires since 2006”, the Prime Minister left “the Government’s commitment to put out the flames, the solidarity of this hour will continue at the time of reconstruction and repair damage ‘.

“This is a moment of mourning, to express to the families of the victims our condolences and to offer our solidarity to the people” who have tried to protect their lives and save homes, property and businesses.

This is also the “moment of giving recognition, gratitude and encouragement to all those who help the people and fight the flames whether they are volunteers or professional firefighters, foresters, nature or forest guards, soldiers of the GNR or the Armed Forces , health professionals or social action.

António Costa assured that “all available resources have been mobilized, including the Armed Forces” and that the mechanisms of international support, namely the European civil protection mechanism, have been activated, and the state of calamity has been activated.

The GNR and the PJ “has intensified the fight against crime associated with fires, having almost doubled the number of suspects identified last year for this year”.


Structural problem

The Prime Minister underlined the structural nature of forest fires, which is why we “launched the forest reform one year ago”, which “must be carried out with the utmost determination in order to ensure the structural reduction of the risk of fire, that we have a sustainable forest that contributes to the vitality of the rural world, which is not a factor of desertification and threatens the security of the people “.

“We are aware that the country demands results in a time trial after decades of forest disorganization,” but “we find in this national requirement increased motivation to collectively win this battle.”

‘The delay in producing results only makes the start of reform of the forest more urgent’, which ‘does not exhaust the consequences of this dramatic summer’.

The Government will therefore implement the conclusions and recommendations of the report of the independent technical commission appointed by the Assembly of the Republic, which analyzes in depth our entire system for the prevention and control of forest fires and hopes that the consensus that led to the constitution of this commission the decisions to be made.