Under the weight of popular rage over the mistakes and negligence of the government in managing the deadly fire in Eastern Attica – and in the shadow of revelations that the PM and involved ministers knew that people had died on the night of the tragedy during a televised conference and said nothing – one government cadre after the other are admitting that everything was not done well. Eleven days after the disaster, only one minister apologised, but with provisos.
“Nobody can say that everything was done properly, when you formally have 85 dead and one missing person. No one can say that all was done well, but everything must be evaluated, so as to find and attribute responsibilities,” said Deputy Shipping Minister Nektarios Santorinios.
Regarding opposition calls for resignations, he said, “The prime minister himself assumed responsibility, and the entire cabinet has also assumed that responsibility.”
“It is impermissible to have a resignation in the midst of a battle, because a resignation creates a void, which is worse than staying on and waging the battle as best you can,” Santorinios said.
The first minister who managed to apologise was Alternate Defence Minister Fotis Kouvelis, but he added that there were no “strategic errors”. “There may have been errors in particular [operational] communications. I cannot rule it out,” he said.
Government members interpreted the PM’s assumption of political responsibility as being essentially an apology.
Interior Minister Panos Skourletis set out the government’s line yesterday when he said, “It would be provocative for one to say that all was well done when there are so many dead.”
Skourletis maintained that the apology for the deadly fire has been assumed by the entire cabinet.
No government member felt the need to resign over a tragedy with at least 85 dead. Now, the government is focusing on leveling illegal buildings, despite the fact that current ministers and SYRIZA cadres played a leading role in legalising illegal buildings that they now want to tear down.
Pratto Movement: Another apology with provisos.
The Pratto Movement expressed its sorrow for the dead and said, “The disastrous fire highlighted diachronic problems of our society, from the dark post-Civil War construction until today, with mistakes, omissions, self interest, and without continuity in the state mechanism and in institutional organs of state management.”
Afterwards, members of the Movement said they offer, “an earnest apology to the Greek people”. “In our efforts to transcend the memorandums, we did not manage to change, as we should have and as the country needs, the mentalities and conceptions through which the corrupt political system of shared guilt and corruption made Greek society co-responsible for illegalities, and at the same time legalised illegal buildings.”