Greece’s Struggle

Greece is being tested these days. Tested hard by the seemingly endless, unusually intense heat wave and the fires that are breaking out in various parts of the country.

But it is fighting day and night. It’s throwing all its forces into battle. And, fortunately, at least so far, no casualties have been reported.

The conditions for the outbreak of fires are ideal, a perfect storm.

The temperature rises to 100 degrees and above day after day. And there is a strange calmness – not even a slight breeze – that lasts for a long time. You watch the trees, but not a leaf moves. It was as if they had turned into pillars of salt.

This of course contributes to the record temperatures that are hitting the country. But it also has a positive aspect in that it does not exacerbate the fires. If the wind was blowing, the situation would be much worse.

The authorities, with the Fire Service in the lead, are  doing their best, using all the means at their disposal to deal with this scourge.

Near them is the Prime Minister, who watches over them and encourages them.

The damage done to property and forests is enormous, but not out of indifference or lack of effort to fight them.

It is similar to what is happening in California and elsewhere, where fires are destroying large areas despite the means available to the authorities and the efforts they make.

Of course, this is no relief for the people losing their homes, their property, their livelihood. Do they have the resources to be able to rebuild them?

Some do, but many certainly do not.

Struggles, sacrifices, memories of a lifetime are burned in the rubble of houses.

Their pain is indescribable. There are no words to comfort them.

But those pains and losses are nothing next to their lives. Yes, they will never forget the disaster that befell them, but having their lives, they have a second chance to make a fresh start wherever they may go.


My heart goes out to our friend Robert Menendez, visibly shattered as he entered the courtroom, holding his wife's hand, with a multitude of television cameras and dozens of journalists recording their every step.

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