OPINION

Vulnerable to natural disaster

The destructive wildfires currently sweeping across California in the United States are a reminder that no country is safe from natural disasters or from the destruction that humans can wreak. Governments, however, are judged by how well they respond to such crises and how successful their intervention is at the end of the day. In Greece, and despite the dreadful experience of last year’s lethal forest fires, the tasks of fire prevention and firefighting still rest in the hands of 29 different prefectures and are splintered among 45 different authorities. This labyrinthine legal snarl and the confusion to which it gives rise makes the situation particularly dangerous. It is because of this that Greece ranks 114th in the world among the countries most vulnerable to natural disasters. Naturally we all hope for the best and in particular that this summer will pass without incident. A state, however, can only be viewed as being prudent when it prepares itself for any possible crisis, for any occasion.