Sunday, August 26

FIRES

What a sad reason to return to the blogging world, but I really feel the need to join Ellas devil and others in expressing how at a loss for words I am regarding the fires.

Or maybe I do have a word: enraged.

At whom is this rage directed? Politicians? Arsonists? I can't say. It's just kind of a blanket rage, I guess, the rage one feels when one sees something one loves being destroyed, and can do nothing to stop it.

So there's another word: impotence.

It's awful sitting here, watching the news in spurts for as long as I can take it, in a mournful, funereal silence, and not being able to DO anything. Anything to help. Anything to punish those responsible, either by their actions or by their lack thereof.

With elections looming ahead, I am left with no one to vote for. There is no lesser of two evils here - both are equally bad. Not even, anymore, a small party I can trust and rely on to not make me cringe when they state their opposition. So politically, too, I am impotent.

And what of the victims of the fires? Those who have lost their livelihoods, homes and loved ones? Is no aid being organised for them? Will there be no international relief funds set up, as there have been for numerous others the world over who have experienced tragedy of late? Karamanlis has promised those affected 13,000 euros compensation. It's almost better to offer nothing at all, no? The amount is just insulting when your home, your crops, your family is gone. And on the other hand he's got a spare million lying around for those who provide information leading to the arrest of arsonists. What should our priorities be, really? Does the need for revenge, to make someone pay, surpass the needs of the victims? Here, too, I am impotent, unable to offer any comfort, help or words of support to those whose lives have been ruined.

I can't help thinking, too, of the irony of the blood tax, a term fittingly coined by teacher dude, that these fires will no doubt serve to pay.

Most of all, however, watching the ashes fall, I feel sad and devastated at the senseless loss of our beautiful land and forests, which neither we nor our grandchildren will see restored in our lifetimes, if ever. The rains are coming next week, or so they say, and while they may aid in quenching the thirst of the fires, they will also wash away the detritus left by them - nutrient rich ashes which, if allowed to soak into the soil undisturbed, would render it fertile again. If they are washed away, the land will become completely and permanently barren.

We can only hope for the best, hope without reason that the government will manage to pull itself together in the wake of the blazes and take measures to minimize the damage, start reforestation, and most of all do whatever it can to stop the land from being developed. Sadly, I fear that none of these things will come to pass, and that the half of Greece which has been burnt will be lost to us forever.

In the face of that possibility, I am truly left speechless.

UPDATE: The Hellenic Red Cross is accepting cash donations for the purchase of essential items for those in need. These can be deposited at the following bank:

Bank of Attica
23 Omirou Str, Athens – Greece, under the indication ‘Fires in Greece'
Bank account: 069/84298361
IBAN: GR54 0160 0690 0000 0008 4298 361
Swift Code: ATTIGRAA XXX

For details, visit www.redcross.gr/files/preliminary_emergency_appeal.pdf

Thanks to buruburu for the link.

2 comments:

buruburu said...

It is like you say. But what is left for us to do? Vote conscientiously and help anyway we can. Btw the Greek red cross is accepting help for supporting the fire victims check out
http://www.redcross.gr/files/preliminary_emergency_appeal.pdf
There's something you can do to make you feel better.

CaliforniaKat said...

The Red Cross keeps 33 percent for administrative costs, so not all of the aid will get there. Just a note, not a complaint.