The government and the main opposition crossed swords over the July, 2018, wildfire which claimed 102 lives in Attica’s seaside resort of Mati.

The debate was wrong-headed because the mutual recriminations were about the past whereas the residents of the fire-ravaged area 19 months after the disastrous inferno continue to be confronted with major problems.

Government and opposition are not merely skirmishing over the rubble.

They are preoccupied with arguing even as the residents grapple with the invisible threat under their feet – the asbestos that remains on dozens of properties.

In a move that was both symbolic and substantial the current government after coming to power immediately removed tonnes of flammable material that had been left on a piece of property because the previous government had not taken care to dispose of it.

Those in power have a duty to maintain the vigilant spirit that they exhibited at the beginning of their term in office.

They have a duty not to forget Mati and to free it of a public health time bomb that continues to threaten the lives of residents.

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