From the beginning of this year Greece has faced a number of crises, from the coronavirus pandemic to the constantly simmering refugee crisis and from the floods in Evia to the summer wildfires and cyclone “Ianos”.
These are crises that are occurring simultaneously.
All this demonstrates that the Greek state must modernise its structures and procedures in order to be able to confront many and varied challenges at once.
These include not only crises that are certain to worsen such as climate change but also those we learned about the hard way such as the pandemic, both of which may well dramatically change our daily lives.
The promotion of the general secretary of civil protection to the rank of deputy minister for civil protection and crisis management was a step in the right direction as central planning and coordination are necessary at the highest level, that of the government.
That alone, however, does not suffice. It will remain a merely symbolic move unless the services which the deputy minister directs are not staffed with capable employees. This is necessary for the state to fulfil its highest duty to citizens, the protection of life and property, for which they are heavily taxed every year.
At the end of July the PM visited the new civil protection headquarters in Marousi to present the “Aspida” [shield] programme which government sources at the time said would receive 2.2 bn euros in funding over the next seven years in order to safeguard citizens’ security.
It is necessary for this funding to be increased and invested in the most efficient manner.
Building a contemporary state will be an important legacy for the country.