OPINION

Why does this happen to us?

As Athenians this morning sweep ashes from their balconies and cars for the third consecutive year, they will no doubt be asking themselves: Why does this keep happening to us? Of course, Greece is not the only country to suffer from wildfires this summer. Until this weekend, the situation had been much worse in countries such as Spain, Portugal and France. Not to mention the devastation that huge blazes caused in California. The difference, and the reasons why Athenians should be doing some soul searching, is that none of these countries have experienced fires that have begun on the outskirts of their biggest city and which have swept through relatively accessible land with apparent ease. A dangerous cocktail of factors have led to this unique situation: Our lack of organization, our collective disregard for the environment and our warped priorities which mean that owning a plot of land or a home outweighs anything else. But, above all, we should consider our failure to put pressure on the people that represent us to take the issue as seriously as they should. So, why does this keep happening to us? Because we let it.