A letter from Sana Kassem on the Athens fire

July 26, 2018

In Blog News

We are at home. I was a bit worried because my house is very close to a forest that luckily did not catch the fire. Athens feels just like Beirut during the war days. Streets are empty, people are in shock and the atmosphere is heavy. The death toll is rising it is now almost 100 dead and dozens are missing.

Comrade Panagiotis Sotiris wrote this on his facebook page and it is very true:
“These are tragic moments for Greece.
A combination between climate change, chronic problems regarding urban planning and real estate greed which transformed forest areas into residential zones with all the dangers associated with it, terrible cuts imposed by the Troika to the fire service and civil protection, and the fact that SYRIZA is only good in passing austerity laws but not to prepare for such natural disasters led to a tragedy without precedent: 76 dead so far and tens of missing persons, hundreds of injured and many homeless.
This is a moment of pain, of sadness, of solidarity but also of anger
Anger against austerity and cuts, anger against the many forms of real estate speculation and “investment” that created a condition that has been by definition dangerous, but also anger against a government that has repeatedly ‘burned the midnight’ oil in order to make spending cuts and produce primary budget surpluses, but did not have the time to prepare an evacuation plan so that people do not face tragic death in areas that are less than 40 km from the centre of Athens…”