PM Tsipras on Mati fires: I took more than my share of the blame

8 August 2018
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Addressing his cabinet in the presence of the Attica Prefect Rena Dourou, at the Technological Park of Lavrion, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras failed to make any reference to ommissions and errors on the part of the state apparatus during the deadly fires in Attica which claimed 91 lives.

The PM announced the implementation of 20 specific measures to address illegal building construction which he blamed for the catastrophic effects of the Mati fires. These included, among other things, 250 new recruitments, an increase in funding for the green fund, the demolition of stone fences and the tearing down of 3,200 that have already been officially designated for destruction.

The PM also attacked the opposition parties underlining they should do some self-reflection as he had done. “I assumed responsibilities that were not even mine”, he said in his speech.

“We are obliged to bow our head and look into the hows and whys of this tragedy. My promise was from the very first day that everything would be thoroughly investigated in aspects by fair and unimpeachable processes. Nothing is going to be covered up in the name of any expediency.”

“The pain for the lost human lives raises the responsibility to not remain idle and move into action so that we do not live through such a tragedy again. The political leadership of the country is before all responsible because this is not always self-evident.”

“Our intention is clear, the affected areas will be rebuilt quickly, but on a new basis guaranteeing the legitimacy and respect for the environment and respect for the lives of their inhabitants.”

Mr Tsipras said that legislation for the building compliance protocol was being enacted and would be controlled by a dedicated building inspector, while he added that the Hellenic Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks was making engineers available to local governments for the time needed to carry out the demolitions.

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