OPINION

Our inadequate anti-flood works

There was no need to visit Sparta, Kalamata or Marathon during last week’s downpours to appreciate the efficacy of our country’s anti-floodworks; driving down Mesogeion Avenue in Aghia Paraskevi, which had become a veritable river, told us all we needed to know. The gutters along Mesogeion are inadequate for absorbing such a large quantity of rainfall. But although last week’s was a heavy downpour, it was hardly what one would call «extreme» weather conditions, such as those that have ravaged other European towns of late. There has been extensive work along Mesogeion and the Athens Water Supply and Sewage Company (EYDAP) insists it cleans out its gutters on a regular basis. So what is the problem? It doesn’t take a civil engineer to conclude that the work that has been carried out, both on Mesogeion and elsewhere, is simply not adequate. The plain between Tripolis and Megalopolis flooded because the contractors who had undertaken the «modernization» of the regional railway route had filled the nearby streams with their garbage. Similarly, Marathon flooded because the infrastructure work necessary to deal with the consequences of widespread illegal construction was simply not there. And the most troubling thing of all is that this problem exists, to a lesser or greater extent, across the whole country.