Ta Nea interviewed a number of experts to speak about the deadly wildfires in Eastern Attica. The interviewees included engineers, city planners, environmental experts, and physicists.
Their verdict is absolutely clear. The state failed miserably in managing the deadly forest fire that claimed dozens of lives. It failed miserably not because it did not manage to contain the inferno –such phenomena are often humanly impossible to contain – but rather because it did not evacuate Mati in a timely manner, even though it had the time to do so.
How and where was this vital time lost? How is it that seconds, minutes, and hours passed without what a basic sense of prevention and a minimum instinct of protection mandate – the issuing of an evacuation order? Why were plans not implemented? Why were mechanisms not mobilised? Why did rules remain a dead letter? What is the cause of the tragic lack of coordination, of the deadly imbecility in taking decisions?
Answers cannot be expected from a government that “searches for errors but cannot find them”. Answers cannot be given by a government that now condemns illegal buildings, even though it legalised them for the sake of votes. Answers cannot be given by a government that washes its hands even though it has signed the town plan of the area, by a government that instead of apologising points its finger at the people who lost their relatives and property.
The experts that spoke to Ta Nea gave the answers that the government refuses to offer. They attributed responsibilities that the government refuses to assume.
However, they offered an exhortation that is worth heeding. “Citizens must now raise their voices.”