Expert disaster service underused by Greek authorities

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras this week heralded the creation of a new national emergency service in the wake of last month's deadly wildfires in Attica, but in fact Greece already has an expert agency that has for years been offering its expertise via Copernicus, the European Union's Earth observation program - chiefly to other countries though. 

Known by its acronym BEYOND (Building a Center of Excellence for Earth Observation Monitoring of Natural Disasters), the agency is part of the National Observatory of Athens. Via Copernicus, it has been sharing its expertise across the region and as far as Chile, Peru and Mozambique. In fact Greece appears to have benefited the least from the homegrown service, Kathimerini has learned. 

"In the period 2016-18 alone, the center has [responded to official requests] via the Copernicus program to provide help to 20 civil...

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