The fatal decision that sent drivers to heart of inferno

It is difficult to offer a sober and pragmatic perspective on the devastating fires that ravaged the seaside resort of Mati, east of Athens, on July 23, as the memories of the unspeakable tragedy are still fresh. And it goes without saying that any attempt to exploit the tragedy for political advantage is unacceptable. Nevertheless, our society has an obligation to the victims and society in general to discover the causes and identify who or what was to blame for the disaster. It is important that we do everything we can to prevent the recurrence of such a catastrophe.

Mati, the area that was worst hit by the blaze, was clearly built without town-planning. Evidence shows that the community also lacked an emergency evacuation plan in case of natural disaster. However, notwithstanding those structural shortcomings, it is important to clarify the role of civil protection...

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