Tuesday, September 18, 2007

About the fires in Greece

This summer Greece went through the greatest ecological disaster in its modern history. Since June, more than 3000 fires have broken out and as a result thousands of hectares of green land were scorched and 78 people died.

The fires that broke out in almost every corner of the country during the last 10 days of August were the culmination of this environmental tragedy. The aftermath was the scorching of 3,000,000 hectares of forest and arable land and the destruction of virgin forests.

The consequences of the disastrous fires are not only ecological. The number of dead from the last fires has reached 67. In addition, more than 120 villages have been totally devastated leaving many people on the streets. It is indicative of the scale of the disaster that, according to estimates, 350,000 hectares of arable land were scorched and 80,000 animals perished. As a result, thousands of families will have to fight hard for their survival since the majority of the population in the afflicted areas lived from agriculture and husbandry.

The government, terrified by the extent of the devastation and its own inability to handle the crisis, made an attempt to cover up its responsibility by spreading the rumour that the fires had been the work of terrorists. This hideous claim later became part of the official governmental statements on the causes of the disastrous fires. Top government officials said that the country is actually facing an “asymmetric threat”, not accidentally adopting the term which the American imperialists use when they refer to a terrorist act. People affiliated with certain ideologies, such as anarchism, as well as political parties were pointed as primary suspects for these alleged terrorist acts. All this shows the government’s aim to start a witch hunt and to proceed to a series of fascist persecutions. However, all their attempts to create a situation of terror-hysteria came to nothing due to the complete lack of any evidence that could back up their claims.

The attitude of the revisionist so called “C”P of Greece, is quite revealing because of its reluctance to acknowledge the government’s share of responsibility while talking, at the same time, about the “perennial responsibilities” held by all the previous governments and embracing the opinion that the fires broke out on the basis of an organised plan despite the lack of evidence. In this way, “C”PG is trying, once more, to cover up the responsibilities of the right-wing government, as it has done in many cases in the past.

The Movement for the Reorganisation of the CP of Greece 1918-1955 believes that the government itself is solely responsible for the size of the destruction. It is a government that has not taken any measure for the prevention of fires and the protection of forests. Moreover, the shortages of equipment and staff in the fire brigade played a decisive role. Despite the ever increasing unemployment in our country, the fire brigade’s shortages in personnel reach almost 3000. But what augmented the scale of the disaster, was the total absence of coordination between the units and civil services in charge of putting out the fires. For all this, the government bears the prime responsibility.

The irresponsibility of the bourgeois state that essentially encourages the arsonists is also to blame. The want of a planned policy of fire prevention accompanied by the repeated changes of status of forest land and the attempt to revise the article 24 of the Constitution that provides for the protection of the forests, have whetted the capital’s appetite. The bourgeois state places profits above men and nature…let’s stop it!

September 2007

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