Tsipras: Fires in the Amazon Threaten Our Common Bome, the Earth

A house is seen surrounded by land scorched by wildfires near Porto Velho, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. Under increasing international pressure to contain fires sweeping parts of the Amazon, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday authorized use of the military to battle the massive blazes. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

“The fires in the Amazon do not threaten some far-flung corner of the planet but our common home, the Earth,” SYRIZA President and main opposition leader Alexis Tsipras said in a social media post on Saturday.

“Climate change, policies that ignore the environment in the name of selfishness and profit, lead to tragic developments for our life itself,” he noted.

Indifference to this threat was indifference to both the present and future of our children, Tsipras added, while leaders that overlooked this reality were essentially committing crimes against humanity.

SYRIZA’s president also criticised the Greek prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, for failing to use the opportunity to support the French president on this issue during their meeting in Paris, and of failing to make even one statement in this direction.

“We heard nothing,” Tsipras said, and noted that Greece must also oppose the EU-Mercosur agreement so long as the extreme right Bolsonaro government fails to meet its environmental obligations.

Tsipras’ environmental sensitivity ‘4.5 years late,’ Petsas says

Government spokesperson Stelios Petsas on Saturday attacked SYRIZA President Alexis Tsipras over his statements concerning the Amazon fires and his criticism of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, noting that his “environmental sensitivity is 4.5 years late.”

He especially objected to Tsipras’ assertion that Mitsotakis had made no reference to the environment and failed to support French President Emmanuel Macron on this issue during their meeting in Paris, saying that this was untrue. Petsas also cited extracts from the Greek premier’s statements during the meeting, which referred to climate change, the environment and the role played by Macron in brokering an agreement on climate, while inviting the French president to set “even more ambitious targets to convert Europe into a truly green continent that leads innovation on energy transition issues.”