x

Society

Greek Officials Face Probe Over Deadly Mandra Floods

September 30, 2018

ATHENS – Greek prosecutors have summoned 11 officials, including Attica Regional Governor Rena Dourou over the November, 2017 flash foods in Mandra, west of the Capital, in which 23 people died and hundreds of properties were destroyed.

That comes after months of investigation and with Dourou also facing a probe over the July 23 wildfires that killed 99 people in the seaside village of Mati. Despite the two debacles, she has the unconditional support of her Radical Left SYRIZA leader, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

The prosecutor, Sotiria Papageorgakopoulou, who oversaw the investigation, will be expecting Dourou and the other suspects to explain why critical anti-flood works had not been in place, said Kathimerini, with the government promising in the aftermath they would.

Others facing questions include Mandra Mayor Ioanna Kriekouki, officials at the local authority’s technical department and other officials at the forestry and zoning services of Aegaleo, the district neighboring Mandra.

The suspects are expected to give their depositions to the West Attica Police Directorate over the coming days although previous governments also had allowed unlawful construction blamed for damming gullies and preventing the runoff of water, as illegal building in Mati did in blocking access to escape routes to the sea.

The government promised to demolish 1,185 buildings but hasn’t moved to do so yet, blaming legal procedures.
The Mandra case file will then be sent back to the Athens prosecutor’s office, which will determine whether there are grounds for criminal charges to be brought, most likely before the end of October, the paper said.

The charges faced by the suspects include manslaughter through neglect, grievous bodily harm, provoking floods and violating construction regulations. The prosecutor is also expected to take civil action against the government over failure to take preventive measures although such investigations into disasters in Greece haven’t led to anyone of consequence being jailed.

The investigation includes findings from Public Administration General Inspector Maria Papaspyrou that pointed to widespread illegal construction, poor anti-flood infrastructure and numerous oversights as the main causes of the deadly flood but didn’t blame Dourou, as did the prosecutor’s investigation.

The Infrastructure Ministry and Attica Regional Authority in August started anti-flood works in Mandra to unclog and divert the natural streams of Soures and Aghia Ekaterini that run down the slopes of Mount Pateras and through Mandra but have been blocked by illegal construction governments allow so the builders could be fined to make money for the state, without razings.

RELATED

ATHENS – The cost of letting vehicles onto the Attiki Odos Ring Road surrounding the Greek capital during a snow storm – which saw some 3,500 motorists stuck for hours or overnight in freezing temperatures – will be a 2,000-euro ($2266) payment to each of them.

Top Stories

Associations

ASTORIA – The Pancyprian Choir of NY held its first meeting of 2022 and shared best wishes for the New Year with their annual cutting of the traditional vasilopita at Dionysos Taverna in Astoria on January 24.

Associations

BRONX, NY – In a festive atmosphere, the traditional cutting of the vasilopita was held by the Northern Chios Society of Pelineon Agia Markella in the community hall of Zoodohos Peghe Greek Orthodox Church in the Bronx on January 23.

Society

ATHENS – A major snow storm that had been predicted for days still caught residents in Greece offguard and the New Democracy government scrambling for answers as to why motorists were stuck for hours on major roads.

Video

Human Chain Formed to Help After Pittsburgh Bridge Collapse

PITTSBURGH — A 50-year-old bridge spanning a ravine collapsed in Pittsburgh early Friday, requiring rescuers to rappel nearly 150 feet (46 meters) while others formed a human chain to reach occupants of a dangling bus.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.