Greek govt cops severe backlash during firestricken zone visit

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras visited yesterday the area of Mati east of Athens, where Monday’s deadly fires burned through 2,000 homes and claimed the lives of 91 people.Following his visit the Greek PM wrote on Twitter: “Today, I visited the site of the tragedy. I spoke with citizens, engineers, soldiers, firemen and volunteers.”“Unspeakable grief and infinite respect for all those who waged an uneven battle with the flames, and are now waging the battle of restoration.”Even though Mr Tsipras has accepted full political responsibility for the outcome of the wildfires and pledged a series of changes, severe outcry expected him on site.Many residents of the area who lost families, pets and homes to the fires were there to accuse him of poor crisis management and failings in infrastructure.Meanwhile, Mr Tsipras’ promise to crack down on “illegal and haphazard construction” that is said to have made the work of fire fighters more difficult received backlash as well, being conceived as a threat by home owners falling under this category.Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, left, talks with local resident Giannis Kardiakos during his visit to Mati on Thursday, July 26, 2018.  Photo: AAP via AP/Thanassis StavrakisA similar response awaited defence minister Panos Kammenos when he visited the disaster area last week.Dozens of survivors and relatives of missing individuals lashed out accusing the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition for their inability to respond to such crisis.Recriminations about the apparent lack of an evacuation plan and what many perceived to have been a slow response has mounted, with survivors saying they had been abandoned to do whatever they could to save themselves alone from Greece’s deadliest forest fireMr Kammenos has reportedly denied any responsibility as a member of the government, generating even more negative publicity over the past few days.Local authorities have also come under fire for several inadequacies in following annual season preparations.With as many as 25 people still unaccounted for according to authorities a new hashtag has taken over Greek social media #ποσοιειναιοιαγνοουμενοι which translates to #howmanyaremissing.Thousands of Greeks have shared status updates on their profiles demanding that government officials release the true number of missing persons.It is believed that the tally is in the hundreds with many people who did not have living relatives, homeless, refugees and fugitives allegedly being amongst the dead.last_img

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