The courageous and the unscrupulous

Over the past days and weeks, hundreds of professional and volunteer firefighters have been waging a daily battle with countless forest fires that have been ravaging vast tracts across the country. Considering the great dangers involved, one can only applaud the courage of our fellow citizens. The Greek state has always accommodated worthy citizens as well as unscrupulous ones. According to numerous reports and sources, the national fire service has become beleaguered by party political interventions and cliques. The national fire service reached a zenith of efficiency and competence in early 2004 thanks to the systematic training that staff underwent and the general review of infrastructures and procedures in the runup to the Athens 2004 Olympics. Officers who had been trained in a specific field, and who were considered to have reached an exceptionally high level of competence, were recalled to their posts during the countdown to the Games. Skilled and worthy executive officers replaced inexperienced state functionaries. It is clear that Greece, once again, is in urgent need of a state made up of worthy professionals.

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