Saturday, August 22, 2009

Forest fires ravaging Greece again

Fire Morning, originally uploaded by orestis f.

I am watching the terrible images of the forests in the Attica region around Athens being devoured by fires which seem to be raging out of control. As well as hundreds of acres of woods many homes, farms are villages are also threatened with destruction.

Once more the country's natural beauty is being destroyed through a mixture of government indifference and state sponsored idiocy. Today's Kathimerini newspaper (the Greek equivalent of the Independent) ran an article noting the connection between the destructiveness of forest fires and general elections. According to Spyros Skouras and Nikos Christodoulakis, professors at the Athens University of Economics in the period from 1954 to 2008 half the forests burnt were lost in the 16 years in which the country held elections (click here to see the study in English).

The current round of wildfires bring back bad memories of the 2007 debacle (another election year) in which 84 people lost their lives in Southern Greece.

To find out the latest news check out the #grfires hash tag on Twitter.

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