No impunity after the sea tragedy

The Greek authorities’ handling of the sinking of the Sea Diamond cruise ship off the popular resort island of Santorini has been a disaster, also for the country itself. Santorini, and the Aegean Sea in general, are threatened with an extensive environmental catastrophe as a result of the accident. Tourism, the main driver behind Greece’s economy, has been dealt a serious blow whose implications are still unknown. There is no doubt, therefore, that the accident at sea must invite sanctions. It is clear that the chain formed by the owners of the ill-fated ship, the port authorities and the tugboat that was meant to pull the vessel off the reef contains one or more weak links which resulted in the Sea Diamond ending up on the sea floor – with all the environmental consequences that this entails. The state and judiciary officials have an obligation to launch a detailed investigation and punish those responsible for the tragedy. Protecting national interests and Greece’s image abroad cannot possibly mean offering people impunity, or worse, a cover-up for their wrongdoing.

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