Finger-pointing over fires as police tapes depict alarm

As a political debate about who was responsible for last week's fatal wildfires continued, radio conversations between senior police and traffic police officials obtained by Kathimerini depict their alarm on the night that the blaze raged out of control, confounding the tactics of the authorities.

The order by the police chief for northeastern Attica, Constantinos Voutselas, to Traffic Police chief Argyris Bakalonis, to suspend traffic on Marathonas Avenue came at 6.12 p.m. on July 23, with the latter subsequently ordering diversions. Those decisions led dozens of motorists down toward Mati, and to the fire, which crossed Marathonas Avenue, defying authorities' expectations. At 6.35 p.m. Bakalonis can be heard asking if a police patrol car is trapped and is reassured that there is not a problem.

Authorities continued to point the finger at each other Wednesday. Attica...

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