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Michael Gove going on holiday to Greek island currently being evacuated

‘I think it’s absolutely right that individuals should be able to go to Greece to enjoy their holidays,’ Mr Gove said

Archie Mitchell
Tuesday 25 July 2023 08:10 BST
Michael Gove to spend summer holidays in Greece despite wildfires raging on island: 'I'm not worried'

Michael Gove is going to Evia in a week despite Greek authorities evacuating parts of the island.

The housing secretary is visiting the island, off the eastern coast of mainland Greece, after it became caught up in the “nightmare” wildfires engulfing the country.

Mr Gove told Sky News: “I am planning to go to Greece in just over a week’s time.” He added that he was visiting Evia.

Asked whether he was worried about the raging fires, Mr Gove said: “No, I am not.

“I want to make sure that as a government that we do everything possible to support Greece and indeed our tourists.”

Thousands of people have been evacuated from towns and villages across Greece after wildfires ravaged the country.

Videos of roaring fires and towering black smoke have circulated online from Rhodes and Corfu. However, wildfires have erupted across several areas including Evia and the Peloponnese region.

Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said “we are at war” and “completely focused on the fires” as wildfires continue to burn down parts of Rhodes.

“Over the coming days and weeks, we must remain on constant alert,” the prime minister said during a debate in parliament.

“The climate crisis is already here.”

Mr Gove denied reports that travel firms are acting irresponsibly by flying evacuation flights from Greece to the UK with empty seats.

“It is a tragedy that these fires have ruined what should be the happiest and most enjoyable time of the year for many,” he said.

But he added: “It is also the case that the criticism directed at individual firms isn't necessarily merited.”

“I think it's absolutely right that individuals should be able to go to Greece to enjoy their holidays,” Mr Gove said.

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