Urgent wake-up call

However strange or out of character it may seem for this country, widespread construction does not necessarily follow every large forest fire. Our indifference ensures every disaster is complete and lasting. This is not only the indifference of the authorities, who admittedly carry the largest portion of the blame, but also the indifference of every individual citizen who passively sits by as certain unscrupulous others get rich at the expense of our land and our children’s future. The campaign to replant the Cassandra forest, which has been launched by Kathimerini and Skai Radio and Television, is not about the tract of land in Halkidiki that was ravaged by last week’s forest fire. The campaign also intends to awaken people’s sense of responsibility, prove that Greeks are still capable of objecting to clearly illegal practices, and challenge the fatalism that allows these practices to continue. The aim is to change the prevailing attitude of Greeks that «that’s the way it goes» to «things are going to change from now.» At some stage, the silent majority must demonstrate its will and say, «Enough of this vicious cycle of destruction.» Every individual citizen must demand his share of the future and recognize that opportunists are robbing him and others of that future through illicit and greedy behavior. The time has come for us all to demand what we deserve. The Cassandra forest is ours and has not been lost yet. It can be rejuvenated. All it takes is for us to demand it. We must save Cassandra. This is the only way we can save what forests we still have in this country. If unscrupulous would-be developers are curbed this year, we can look forward to fewer forest fires next year.

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