UK sending any aid to Greece?

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Dan
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UK sending any aid to Greece?

Postby Dan » Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:13 pm

Is anyone aware of any contribution Britain is making to the emergency effort in Greece? My apologies if this has been discussed elsewhere: I haven't found a mention.

paulh
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Postby paulh » Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:24 pm

As of yet nothing in the news but remember it is/was a long bank holiday weekend and the various powers that are needed to make such a response were probably not collectively available.

Remember also the UK is one of the least countries in the EU to suffer from forest fires and so do not have the equipment or skills needed readily to hand unlike other Mediterranean countries

Muttly
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Postby Muttly » Tue Aug 28, 2007 2:08 am

It seems we are too busy starting fires in Iraq to help our EEC partners putting them out at their homes. There seems to be an embarresing silence from "Nu" Labour and Whitehall.

Netty
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Postby Netty » Tue Aug 28, 2007 8:13 am

Muttly wrote:It seems we are too busy starting fires in Iraq to help our EEC partners putting them out at their homes. There seems to be an embarresing silence from "Nu" Labour and Whitehall.


Not just me then that thinks even just a few words would not go amiss. I feel ashamed at our silence!

paulh
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Postby paulh » Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:25 am

I’m not sure whether to post this but facts are facts so please read the info before jumping.

Greece has had major problems with forest fires for hundreds of years. For most of that time there was no solution but for the last 40 years there are systems and methodologies in place worldwide to reduce the catastrophic effect of these forest fires.

Greece albeit a high risk forest fires area decided in 1998 to retire 75% of the forest rangers including not only lookouts and observers but also those with the specialist forest fire fighting knowledge. Fire fighting was passed to the local fire crews. That’s under PASOK. Result. There are better anti forest fire facilities in Clumber Park than you see in Greece.

Firefighters in general have had next to no new money or equipment since the Olympic games and have had senior people compulsorily retired leaving the lesser experienced (and cheaper) younger men. Yes the government announced significant increases in numbers in July but next to nothing was done to actually increase the numbers and the few that were taken on extra were unskilled obviously. That’s under New Democracy.

Trying to pin the blame on a party or a person is nitpicking and demeaning to the real problem. It’s the fault of all Greek governments over the last 40 years pure and simple. Now is there any chance that the politicians can stop arguing and perhaps work together to make sure it never happens like this again.

There are satellite pictures (Greek weather satellites) on the net from 1995 showing a couple of fires in Athens, morning and evening. So the ability to spot outbreaks has been around and in use. Having spotted them it then requires organised infrastructure to deal with it. That’s what is missing.

The latest outbreaks of course have been way above predictable and obviously unplannable for but some could have been mitigated with proper tried and tested procedures.

Who/what started them has got to be a combination of all reasons and most have been aired but I found an interesting report on Mediterranean forest fires caused by sparks from electrical lines. Obviously not admitted because of the compensation claims but I have seen such sparks from electric carrying equipment in the village I live (a few years back) and we have with the heatwaves an electrical system that is strained to breaking point.

I am pleased with the response to Greece’s problems from Europe, if what Eleni says on Interkriti about Fire chief’s requiring paperwork before external specialists could help then that deserves investigation. I still feel the British government was lax in not having even said a thing officially or unofficially yet.

It’s just a time of total sadness across Greece

Muttly
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Postby Muttly » Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:51 am

Frankly I don't know what we are doing, there has been no coverage here of any related assistance. I don't suppose that we can supply enough manpower, firefighters, soldiers (what?), equipment (not in our kit just yet, give it a few years and supposed global warming), the only thing that has happened this morning is Gordy Broon has annonced us to an commitment that will last a thousand years to Iraq, Afghanistan and GW's war with everyone. The the head of the armed forces Sir Richard Dannet says we could be in Iraq and Afghanistan for a generation, which one?

As per usual the Notting Hill Carnival ended in violence with guns being discovered, teenagers being shot, others being stabbed and the police being attacked. They obviously provoked everything again.

The investigation on the 11 year old who was shot in Liverpool rumbles on with people arrested and the police without a suspect to charge and complete silence from the "community". The same usless inaction by the government who like the rest of us who have run out of ideas and as a result are running out of the country instead.

We often moan about young people who we see hanging about on street corners hands in pockets etc etc. We talk about National Service and a force of people to handle emergencies. Instead of chasing off to the far corners of the world to blow people away what is wrong in looking after our partners in Europe.

There are enough young people in Europe who need to experience different cultures and enough young people who need different experiences even if it's not the dangers of firefighting. Time for a different direction as the alleged global warming and natural disasters become a feature of European life.

Assimilate
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Postby Assimilate » Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:33 am

A fire on the island of Ikaria in the Aegean Sea cost the life of 13 civilians, creating a nationwide sensation. Three Army pilots and seven firefighters were killed in 1994 when their UH-1H "Huey" helicopter hit power lines on its way back from a fire. Three Fire Service firefighters and a volunteer were trapped by flames and died near Athens in 1998. A fast-moving fire on the island of Chios in 1999 overcame three firefighters. In 2000, seven people died in one night near the Greek border with Albania when a fast-moving fire burned through their sparsely populated villages.

In 1993 and 2000 two more CL-215's were lost, killing four more pilots. The loss of a PZL M-18 on Corfu Island in 2000 cost the life of another pilot.


But still we don't learn! The news will be forgotten after the summer and after the elections . We won't give forest fires another thought until next summer when it all happens again - on whatever scale - People will continue to litter the countryside with flamable rubbish, whilst flicking cigarette butts from their car windows. Villages will have no proper fire managment to the surrounding forests. Legal and Illegal houses without adequate fire protection or fire regulated building materials will spring up throughout forests. Governments will give amnesties to buildings built illegally so that they can win votes. (and encourage arson, as it pays) We don't learn and we don't do anything. Thats Greece siga siga.......

source of quote

Muttly
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Postby Muttly » Tue Aug 28, 2007 12:08 pm

Greed and patronage is everywhere. Stupidity follows like a faithfull dog. Greece like the UK will no doubt turn to it's old ways. The present Greek government will very likely lose the forthcoming election to be replaced by more politicians with a slightly but not too differing adgenda.

Themselves.

paulh
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Postby paulh » Tue Aug 28, 2007 1:08 pm

Muttly wrote: The present Greek government will very likely lose the forthcoming election


what makes you think that? and from where do you get your information because prior to the recent fires re-election was a fairly strong bet.

Muttly
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Postby Muttly » Tue Aug 28, 2007 1:30 pm

I've been closely following various coverage from a range of Sat channels for some time now, not just Sky but Eurosats etc and as far out as some of the Turkish ones on the edge of the visable horizon.

The consesus and general drift from all these reports is that the present government is being blamed for lack of fire cover, for reducing the forestry service and the fire cover there, for failing to get on top of the situation, for failing to change or enforce the building regs.

Well you name it they seem to be getting blamed for it. It would not be the first time a single issue has brought a government down. I suppose it will depend on what they can spin before the next election which is very soon. I report what I see and hear and at the moment it does not look good the way the media depicts it.

paulh
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Postby paulh » Tue Aug 28, 2007 1:51 pm

seems like those people haven't done their homework. The massive reduction of forestry services was done under PASOK in 1998 Thats a simple matter of record.

Certainly via some 10 or 15 channels of Greek terrestrial tv there is no sign of any crumble from the government because of blame and as a declared "National Disaster" this has put it beyond the ability to be expected to "get on top of it" by any one organisation.

We will see but I think your satellite reports were giving a current knee jerk reaction. There's a lot more to be said and to be promised before the 16th Sept

Muttly
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Postby Muttly » Tue Aug 28, 2007 2:16 pm

I would not disagree as you are in looking out, I am out looking in. I wonder how pro/anti your internal channels are though?

For example if you watch Fox News you'd think Bush was the second coming of the Messiah. Go to other US Channels and its shades of grey. Internationally and it's less emotive. I don't know how the present Greek government spins the channels.

Politically it's always good politic to call a state of emegency and to blame everyone from your political opponents to Al Quieda as 9/11 in the US and 7/7 here. Usually you get the appeal to nationalism and unity.

As I am writing this I am watching the BBC 1 One O'Clock news. Apart from the tragic loss of life, housing, employment and land they are stating and I quote "The finger pointing has started.....as to why they (the government) was so ill prepared and what they do now to mitigate/compensate and house these people will much determine how they fair in the next election"

People have very short memories when it comes to politics and events, they will not remember back to the 90's when they look at their houses and land. They will not blame some previous administration when they are burying their dead. They will look to blame somebody tangable, someone they can hurt to aswage their feelings. I would not want to be a Greek politician at the moment.

Some 17 countries have committed aid of some sort to Greece now. Even Russian soldiers are deployed. Nothing on what we are doing, it makes me feel ashamed.

Nita
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Postby Nita » Tue Aug 28, 2007 3:36 pm

Muttly wrote:People have very short memories when it comes to politics and events, they will not remember back to the 90's ...


Not so, quite the opposite in fact. When I asked some questions my Greek friends (including Athenians who are currently visiting) were very detailed in their explanations as to when, and under which government, certain events took place.

Muttly
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Postby Muttly » Tue Aug 28, 2007 3:46 pm

I'm sorry I'm judging by UK standards, prehaps Greeks are more decerning at the ballot box.

Assimilate
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Postby Assimilate » Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:04 pm

this reportbacks up paulh's dates and gives further insite into what happened to the fire services pre y2k (pasok era)

law 997/79 of the ND government that de-characterized 2,5 millions hectares of forests
law 1734/87 of the PASOK government that de-characterized 4,5 millions hectare of forests.
source


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