President of the Junta de Andalucía, Juanma Moreno. / SUR

The Junta's head demands tougher penalties for arson

Juanma Moreno has called for Spain's Penal Code to be modified, saying 'these people have to pay'

ALMUDENA NOGUÉS

The president of the Junta de Andalucía is not willing for the tragedy of the Sierra Bermeja fire to fall on deaf ears. He wants the devastation, which claimed the life of one firefighter and devoured almost 10,000 hectares, until it was declared ‘controlled’ this Tuesday (14 September), be a lesson that invites reflection and action.

And Juanma Moreno is calling for Spain’s Penal Code to be modified and tougher penalties of those who cause these fires. “These people have to pay. What has happened requires reflection given that there are more and more intentional fires," said the head of the regional government.

Moreno highlighted that the costs in economic, social and human life terms" are "very expensive" said he will propose a parliamentary initiative to reform the Penal Code.

He said that all indications point to the fact that the Sierra Bermeja fire was intentional, "due to the choice of the rugged area and for it having been started at night, knowing that strong winds would blow from the east during the following days… and to do as much damage as possible."

The Junta president said he has already floated the idea to Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, who replied that it seem "reasonable" to address the matter.