Wildfires: Athens declares war on illegal buildings

After the devastating fires which claimed more than 90 lives the Greek government has announced plans to have buildings that were constructed without permits torn down. In the village of Mati the fences and walls of such buildings had blocked the escape routes of people fleeing the fires. To begin with, over 3,200 buildings in the resorts around Athens are to be knocked down. The Greek press takes a sceptical view of the plan.

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Kathimerini (GR) /

No one is free of blame

The fight against illegal buildings will be anything but easy, Kathimerini warns:

“Sure, illegal construction is deplorable. But the building were not just built by the 'evil' others, but by people across the ideological spectrum. In fact some people have also put up a struggle against the demolition of illegal properties. Things are not black and white. Knocking down thousands of illegal structures and opening up blocked-off paths to the sea will take a lot of time. However, one thing that can be changed very quickly is the criteria for selecting responsible officials. We must make sure that we appoint the right people to the right jobs, regardless of their party affiliation.”

To Vima Online (GR) /

Tsipras looking for a lifeline

Tsipras is trying to shirk his responsibility, To Vima Online believes:

“Tsipras is taking up arms against illegal buildings in the belief that this will be the lifeline for him and his government. Because on this black day whether Tsipras and his staff are able to govern well, in the interest of the country and its population was called into question. ... They know that their political future is at stake. If they're unable to get the situation under control, if they're unable to shift the responsibility onto someone else's shoulders and somehow escape, they'll be finished politically.”