There are different types of disasters. The worst are brought by nature.
There are also different types of reactions. The worst are those that come after the fact.
The timely mobilisation of the sub-ministry for civil protection in the case of cyclone Ianos displayed swift governmental reflexes and saved many citizens from greater and more substantial harm.
Yet that was not enough to save everyone. In Karditsa and the Ionian islands lives were lost and much damage was done. The restoration process has just begun and it is equally important that it be conducted in a timely manner.
“I am afraid that we will be abandoned,” said the mayor of the city of Karditsa, which has been hit hard. That fear is the product of chronic dysfunctions that have continued under a series of governments. Politicians are confronted with disasters, offer pledges about how things will improve the day after and then leave. When the klieg lights of publicity are turned off the prospect of these pledges being honoured disappears.
PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis has often declared that he is a liberal. This is a case in which the government must not fear offering state aid.
The citizens who were hit hard by the natural disaster must not be left to their own devices nor can the routine public sector foot dragging be tolerated. To say that those affected will be compensated in the long term is tantamount to doing nothing.
The announcements of government spokesman Stelios Petsas regarding a one-off payment to all affected households, aid in repairing homes, funding for the restoration of facilities, equipment, raw materials , merchandise, and even household furnishings will have value if the process moves swiftly.
If the pandemic has taught us something it is that no one should be left behind.