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Last Updated: Monday, 3 September 2007, 14:09 GMT 15:09 UK
Smouldering Greece expects rain
A gutted olive grove in the village of Artemida, southern Greece. File photo
The area around Artemida has been badly burnt by the fires
Some forest fires are still burning in southern Greece, but rain spreading from the north is expected to help firefighters tackle the last blazes.

Despite a break in Greece's prolonged heatwave, there are now fears that heavy rain could cause floods in areas left exposed by the devastating fires.

Storms caused some weekend flooding in the northern area of Halkidiki.

The inferno that swept Greece killed 64 people. Fires are still burning in the Mount Parnon area in the Peloponnese.

Nearly 200,000 hectares (494,000 acres) of countryside was engulfed by fire, with the Peloponnese and Evia the worst-hit areas.

See how Greece has been affected by the fires

"Our country faced an unprecedented and extremely difficult situation," said Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, making an address to the nation on Sunday.

"We have some way ahead of us in healing the wounds," he said, quoted by Reuters news agency.

On Monday Mr Karamanlis attended a reconstruction meeting in the southern town of Tripolis.

His conservative government has been widely criticised by Greeks, who say ministers reacted too slowly to the unfolding fire disaster.

The fires destroyed more than 500 homes, along with thousands of mature olive trees, vineyards and animals.

The government has rushed to compensate people in the affected villages.

Its lead in opinion polls has slumped ahead of general elections scheduled for 16 September.

Last week a senior European Commission official said the EU could pay Greece up to 600m euros (410m) in fire aid this year.


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