OPINION

Winter blues

It was time for a weather change. It is December, after all, and we had been walking around in short sleeves as temperatures oscillated wildly between day and night, causing colds, dejection and bad moods. Winter will eventually bring the cold. Seasons have more or less disappeared: In Greece, we go directly from summer to winter, but this year’s phenomenon – a rain-drenched summer followed by a «summery» winter – was a real one-off. But the winter of the last couple of days is really winter. Yet this doesn’t justify the chaos we have witnessed across the country. Whole regions are flooded – yet another indication of the chronic deficiencies in basic infrastructure – and the tragic revelation that most of the damage occurred on the sites of construction projects which are either still under way or had only just begun… At least with the flood-prone Kifissos River – which submerged surrounding areas four times when it broke its banks – we are learning that the area needs to be split in two to be effectively protected, that dams and barriers need to be put in place, and that the electric railway needs to be suspended as a preventative measure. This sudden onset of winter, with its rainstorms and gales, has exposed deficiencies and disorganization around the country which cannot be excused. In other EU states, preventative measures are taken on work sites to deal with the effects of bad weather. Why is it only here that the sites flood?