OPINION

Gone with the wind

When the average Greek has as his chief interests his own self, his job, his ambitions, wilfully ignoring the impact of this outlook on life, then we will suffer the chaos of the last few days. Destroyed roads, landslides, subsidence, rubble-filled rivers and sunken yachts, collapsed buildings, broken dykes, overflowing streams, flooded homes and fields, and drowned animals. Days of pain (lives lost, entire livelihoods destroyed), days of panic and shock. Exploitative construction on the islands, ravaged forests, poorly completed projects – we didn’t realize that this was all a disaster in the making. And afterward, we accept it. Whether we are personally affected or not, whether we are responsible or not, that’s the way it is, we tell ourselves. We erect our flimsy structures and hope that the skies will not open up again. We build roads over rivers and our streams become construction sites; we build works obstructing the natural flow of rivers; we litter our coastlines without considering the effect of heavy rain, and we lay down roads without having conducted feasibility studies. And we accept it all. We don’t exercise self-criticism, much less common sense or foresight. And tomorrow? Well, tomorrow we will continue to dig up and ravage Attica according to our vested interests, and overdevelop our islands however and wherever we like as long as the State fails to object.