Hazardous incompetence

The Saronic Gulf has suffered a significant environmental disaster as a result of the spill from the Agia Zoni II tanker last weekend that has covered a large part of Salamina and southern Athens’s coastline in toxic, stinking oil.

There are many different causes behind the sinking of the small tanker off the coast of Psyttaleia but the big question is why a ship that was so clearly a ticking time bomb was allowed to carry fuel and operate behind the veil of some vested interest or another.

However, responsibility for the delayed reaction to the spill and the botched management of the cleanup operation and the public information campaign rests solely on the shoulders of the government.

The shipping minister whose job it is to manage such crises was absent in the first crucial hours after the incident, allowing for terrible mistakes in the days that followed. He should have resigned, and as that didn’t happen, the prime minister should have asked him to step down.