Inadequate response to disasters highlights the Greek government's shortcomings
In the wake of the severe floods that struck the city of Volos and Mount Pelion villages in central Greece on Tuesday, even Greece's pro-government newspaper, Kathimerini, cannot hold back its critique of Kyriakos Mitsotakis' conservative government.
Despite having prior weather reports highlighting the impending severity of the storms, the Civil Protection authorities only appealed for military support by Thursday, writes in a bitter tone Vassilis Tziras in his new article in Kathimerini. After this call, the Hellenic National Defense General Staff took to social media, posting images of an army bulldozer assisting affected residents, emphasizing their omnipresence in such crises. However, this reactive approach saw the establishment of an operations center in Larissa only on Thursday, a move made days after multiple villages had been rendered isolated, leaving residents without access to essentials like electricity, water, or food.
Such delayed actions and a perceived lack of proactive measures underscore the challenges the Greek state is facing. Notably, the recent omission of crucial flood prevention projects from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan adds to the criticism. If barriers had been reinforced promptly and coordinated, the need for resource-intensive rescues could have been avoided.
This series of events has led to locals expressing skepticism about the state's efficiency, suggesting that it merely offers a pretense of omnipresent and supportive. The critique, especially from a traditionally supportive platform like Kathimerini, underscores the pressing need for the government to reassess and revamp its crisis management strategies.