Costa and Macron discuss “more coordinated European action” against summer wildfires

Costa and Macron discuss “more coordinated European action” against summer wildfires

Against the backdrop of the worst forest fires both countries have seen for a long time, Portugal’s prime minister António Costa and French president Emmanuel Macron have been discussing the possibility of “more coordinated European action” to combat major fires in future.

The pair met yesterday (Friday) over a working lunch at the Elysée Palace in Paris.

Fires were not the only mutual interests discussed. Macron used the occasion to praise Portugal’s government for its success in powering economic recovery, “with policies for growth and social justice”.

But the fact that fires this year have been so fierce, saw discussions focus on how combat can be improved.

Said Macron, ideas include “mutualising our civil protection forces” and “perhaps” extending this kind of sharing to equipment, on a European level.

Said Costa: “We will be working together in the next few weeks, and I have hope, with others, in this route. We can count on the firm and entire support of France”.

Meantime, the horrendous national picture has calmed, with no major fires reported to today – though hundreds of firefighters are still involved in dampening down operations in the centre of the country, particularly in the areas of Sertã and Nisa.

TSF radio reports that the country “woke up to a different morning”, with temperatures too set to fall on Sunday almost everywhere except the Algarve.

There is even the chance of rain in northern areas, say meteorologists. But the bottom line is that at least 50 boroughs still remain on ‘maximum fire alert’, and winds are likely to pick up over the course of the weekend.

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