“Today’s anniversary of the restoration of democracy unfortunately finds our country at a time of battling the climate crisis, the threat of our age that is testing the entire planet, especially the Mediterranean, especially our country. We have experienced destruction in many areas and recently, unfortunately, in Rhodes. The island has been injured.
Fortunately, despite the unprecedented march of the fire, no lives were lost, there were no serious injuries…” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in Parliament on Monday, beginning his speech regarding the draft legislation on the special electoral roll for voters living abroad.
No one could claim that the state had been absent during this ordeal, he stressed, but “on the contrary, was present and stronger than ever, with more aerial means, more firefighters.”
“Tens of thousands of people were transported promptly and in an organised way to safe locations. We thank the fire brigade, the police, civil protection, the armed forces, the coast guard, local administration and volunteers for their self-sacrifice. The fight was and is unequal and will continue to be for as long as the weather conditions remain unfavourable,” the premier added.
“We have three more difficult days, after which the heatwave will subside, but we must be constantly on alert over the next weeks. We are at war, focused exclusively on the front with the fires. We will rebuild all that was lost, compensate those that were stricken,” he said, adding that a comprehensive examination and stocktaking of all that was done, whether on an operational level or in terms of possible delays in prevention, as well as the causes of the fires and the possibility of arson, will take place with cool heads and at the right time.
“The climate crisis is already here and will be expressed through ever greater natural disasters. The government has an obligation to not be satisfied with whatever progress has been made but quickly adapt its planning to the new conditions, while also undertaking special initiatives on an EU level. There has to be a change of culture and behaviour by everyone,” he stressed.