The handling by the Greek Government of the summer fire threat has attracted strident criticism from the Greek Opposition parties, following the fires in Greece over the last fortnight.
Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou called the devastation “a crime.”
“This destruction is totally inexcusable because it could have been avoided,” Papandreou said. “It would have been avoided had a lesson been learned from (the fires of) 2007.”
Papandreou accused the government of failing to coordinate its response, not taking decisive action against rogue developers and not making proper use of volunteers.
Greek Communist Party leader Aleka Papariga spoke of the fires being a crime orchestrated by the political parties, businessmen and natural arsonists and accused the government of being “ineffective and disorganized” in responding to what she claimed was an organized move by land speculators.
“The government must account for… the lack of a master plan, the delay in acquiring adequate equipment to fight the fires from the air and the lack of trained personnel.”
Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary Group President Alekos Alavanos, asserted that the protection of forests is tantamount to the protection of the country’s national integrity.
Alavanos spoke of a “government of banks, because although giving 28 billion to the banks it was unable to find money for fire protection,” adding that “it is a government that is not interested in working people” and clarifying that “it is a fact that forest firemen are workers for a specific period of time and do not constitute a regular and permanent force for forest protection.”
The leader of Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), Yiorgos Karatzaferis, was blunt. “Nobody learned anything from the big fires of 2007.”
Greece’s Green party called for government officials to resign over their much-criticized handling of wildfires near Athens, saying that the government had failed in its duty to protect the country’s environment.
“The time has come for the resignation of those who had the responsibility of protecting forests and failed,” the Greens said.