In 2018, experts had warned that the “Ippokrateios Politeia” might in the future become the fire-ravaged Mati of Parnitha, and they called for the creation of proper anti-fire zones so as to facilitate fire-fighting by fire service trucks.

Yet, they were not heeded.

In 2019, a committee headed by German Professor Johann Goldammer (photo) submitted to Greece’s Parliament Speaker a report on the deadly Mati wildfire.

As Ta Nea reports today, among the tabled proposals was the streamlining of wildfire management, a focus on prevention instead of stomping out fires, and the completion of forest maps and the reorginasation of the forest bureau. The report was left in a desk drawer.

A few weeks ago, the prime minister received a study conducted by the Group of Long-Term Planning and Research regarding the “mega-currents” of the 21st century.

The first concerned climate change. Greece, as the study indicates, will be affected intensely by the sea-level rise and that will have repercussions on tourism, infrastructure, and cities.

The current government must carefully scrutinise this study. Similarly, it should have studied from the start the Goldammer study.

It is inconceivable to now have 45 co-competent agencies for fire prevention and another 17 for putting out fires.

It is inconceivable to not have a unified National Firefighting Protection Plan.

For decades, we have been making the same mistakes.

We must at long last learn our lessons.

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