Responsible state is the key

Fears are growing that after the deaths of three Turkish children in the impoverished, mainly Kurdish, eastern region of the neighboring country of the bird flu virus last week, the deadly disease could migrate westward to Greece. Greece, of course, can do nothing to intervene to improve the tragic sanitary conditions in which the mainly Kurdish population in Turkey’s eastern regions lives. But we may all have to deal with the dire consequences of Turkey’s social policy. In a similar way, the powerful undersea tremor near the island of Kythera woke us up to the huge damage that we would have suffered had the quake happened on land. The quake, which occurred 70 kilometers below the sea, caused no serious injuries nor deaths. The state will always be faced with all sorts of threats – sanitary, natural disasters, and malevolent human activity. Often, the political authorities are unable to prevent the root causes of the problems. You can’t stop birds from flying, people from moving, tectonic plates from shifting. After all, no one really expects the state to do so. Nevertheless, people expect different things from the state. They want the state to conduct damage evaluation studies and take the requisite measures to minimize and alleviate the catastrophe. They expect it to take scientists’ views and recommendations into careful consideration, in order to set up the necessary infrastructure and anti-seismic regulations. What the people want, in short, is a responsible state. The undeniable progress made in the firefighting and anti-flood sectors (as the success in tackling the floods in the Evros region last year demonstrates) confirm that when there is responsibility, there is success. In contrast, there are still fresh memories of the fiasco concerning the dead turkey on the eastern Aegean island of Oinouses.

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