The burning issue

…Investigations will be carried out but there can be no doubt that Thursday’s massive fire in Attica – which destroyed dozens of homes and wiped out virtually all the forestland that previous blazes had missed – was no accident but the well-planned work of arsonists… One wonders whether it would be better for state authorities not to issue «warnings» on days when there is a heightened risk of forest fires, as all they effectively achieve is to brief prospective arsonists of the best time to take action. And the worst aspect of this crime – which has ravaged vast tracts of Attica’s forestland over the past decades – is that it is often a mercenary effort to intentionally raze land with the aim of building illegal homes on the plots. Of course, everyone has long been aware of this, and the state eventually pledged to take definitive action: the reforestation of all affected areas and strict supervision to ensure no construction activity begins… Of course, we have heard all this before – after every major fire, to be precise. And, unfortunately, the likelihood is that more illegal homes will be built on the ashes of the next big fire, and the state will reward the perpetrators by supplying them with power and water.

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