Accusations fly over Athens rain damage

Four days after heavy rainfall in Attica resulted in serious flooding, an assessment of the damage wreaked by the floodwaters indicated that 580 buildings had been afflicted along with 168 vehicles.

Following an announcement by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras late Friday, pledging compensation to those affected by the floods, it emerged that the 586-euro benefit could rise to 6,000 euros in extreme cases.

Meanwhile, as accusations flew about whether local, regional or central government authorities were responsible for the chaos that ensued from the rainfall, one local authority official told Kathimerini that the absense of a “functioning state mechanism” was the basic problem. “It’s irrational for there to be an argument about whether the minister, the regional governor or the local mayor are to blame every time there is a natural disaster,” he said.

Substandard infrastructure is also a problem due to rivers choked with debris, illegally constructed buildings and an absence of anti-flood works. Works to bolster the banks of the Eschatia River, which runs from the foot of Mount Parnitha, north of Athens, to Peristeri, in western Athens, have progressed but for the project to be successful, sewage networks in the municipalities that the river traverses must be upgraded.

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