It will take generations to restore the land
What happened to Greece and its people in the days after the ferocious wildfires in August 2007?
Last summer's wave of wild forest fires claimed 64 lives and destroyed 427,500 acres of rural land in Greece's Peloponnese peninsula.

More than half of that area was made up of forests or protected nature reserves, while another 41 per cent was farmland.

It was only at the last minute that firefighters managed to save the temples and stadiums of ancient Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games, from the blazes which razed nearby villages.

Environmentalists warned that the ecosystem could take years to recover.

The fires in Greece claimed 64 lives

In places like Athens, where fires destroyed vast tracts of the pine-covered Parnitha range, the blazes have not only exacerbated the heat but have been blamed for soaring pollution levels.

As Elizabeth Filippouli explains in her film, it is clear that the fires were the result of arson, most probably by potential property developers.

Kostas Karamanlis, the Greek prime minister, has promised "to find those responsible and punish them" - but will the real cause behind the fires ever be discovered?

Watch part one of this episode of People & Power on Youtube.

Watch part two of this episode of People & Power on Youtube

This episode of People & Power aired from Tuesday December 4, 2007


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