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About the wildfires in Greece

KKE: Organised plan targeting at the prime choice tracts of land

Since Friday evening north Eastern Attica, the surrounding area of the city of Athens, has been wrapped in flames. More than 50,000 acres of land have been burnt causing an incalculable destruction.Grammatico, Varnavas, Dionisos, Stamata, Marathón, Ano Souli, Kato Souli, Agios Stefanos, Rodopolis, Pendeli; total destruction. The town of Marathon, with important archaeological sites, was encircled by fires but finally it seems to have been spared. Attica is now totally different from the Attica we used to know. No one knows when the range of destruction can be estimated as the fire fronts continue the destruction. The land use planning of the government for the “new” Attica has been already elaborated: New Master Plan for Athens, Special Land Use Plans for Tourism, Industry, Renewable Energy Sources, the Act for Industrial Parks. All these outline the grim future that ND and PASOK have planned brought indeed these great fires.This is the path of development they promote for Attica as well as for the country in general.

The battle of the fire-fighting forces against the fire has been heroic though uncoordinated; no prevention measures have been taken. On the contrary, the spending for fire prevention is subjected to continuous cuts over the years.

Delegations of KKE headed by the GS of the CC of KKE, Aleka Papariga, members of the PB, MPs, have been at the big fire fronts from the very first moment. The organisations of KKE in Attica and Athens as well as PAME have called the people to be vigilant and take action.

The forces of KKE and KNE have been at the front line for the organisation of the people’s mobilization and participation in the fires extinction.

Aleka Papariga after visiting the burning regions stated to the press:

«Since morning I’ve been listening the reporters but when someone actually lives it, it is even worse. I must say, I have had two contradictory feelings. First, I’ve felt great emotion and anguish as well as joy and pride when the fire-fighting airplanes were flying through the smoke and the fire and I was thinking of these people who were risking their lives to save the houses.

On the other hand, however, it is quite clear that those who were responsible to organise the fire-fighting are amateurs. I do not say that playing the role of the opposition. That’s what I have verified. I was asking “who is responsible?”, “who organises it?”…It was completely uncoordinated!

Though I want to clarify this: When there is an organised plan and land speculation, political protection itself no matter how organised, it cannot solve the problems”.

The crux of the problem is specific. When there is an organised and well-designed arson plan against the prime choice tracts of land as well as an enacted framework allowing land speculation, there can be no high level plan of civil defence. I believe that there could be a better plan than the existing one but we cannot expect an organised plan to be tackled with fire-fighting means; especially when the plan develops according to the dramatic change of wind’s direction”.

Announcement of Athens’ Party Organization of KKE

At these critical moments, KKE demands from the government not to consider enough any help from outside the country but immediately, without any delay and without considering the cost to proceed in renting fire-fighting airplanes and helicopters from abroad. Thus, the fire-fighting will be reinforced in order to save the remaining forests and confront the great dangers at the expense of human lives and properties. What is important right now, is the huge shortages and deficiencies in infrastructure and means of fire-fighting.

The situation caused by the fire storm in northeastern Attica was and remains dangerous for the cities of Athens. The fire precaution and fire protection were proved once more weak and insufficient to deal with the great fire.

We call upon the members of KKE and KNE to be in the forefront of the organisation of people’s intervention for the fire protection. We urge them to demand from the government, the municipalities and the prefecture to ensure with extraordinary measures all the necessary equipment so as to help to extinguish the fires.

The people must draw the necessary conclusions. As long as the policy that commercialises the forests and the land continues, the forests will be on the target of all sorts of speculation. As long as the policy that supports and enhances the profitability of business groups continues, the infrastructure and the means for the protection of the forests, of human lives and properties of the popular strata will be weak or even inexistent.


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