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Editorial

Who Is Responsible for the Fire in Moria and Why?

September 11, 2020

The big and accumulating problems that Greece was facing were not enough. It was not enough that for a month now Turkey continues to violate Greece’s sovereign rights. Now a catastrophe of unforeseen dimensions was added to that: the destruction of the large camp of the village of Moria on Lesvos.

This issue, a humanitarian issue for those of us who are outside Greece, but an existential one for the people there, was treated lightly by the government of Alexis Tsipras from the first moment it emerged.

Several government officials followed the pseudo-left "logic" that refugees were supposedly coming to the country for Greece’s wonderful sunshine.

The Greek people, with the supreme example of hospitality presented by the grandmothers of Lesvos, opened their arms, influenced by their memories of when Greeks were refugees.

But how long could that spirit last? Instead of the hundreds or a few thousand (at most) that were expected in the beginning, their number exceeded 10,000 – with no end in sight.

Our people grew tired. It got to the point where the natives were being uprooted from their villages, becoming refugees in their own country.

The government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis changed the policy of tolerance or indifference that they inherited.

He put up significant obstacles to their free entry into Greece – to the extent that he was the target of severe accusations by the American press in lengthy articles, but also by international charities.

In his speech yesterday, the Prime Minister put the issue into proper perspective: "I recognize," he said, addressing the refugees, "the difficult conditions. However, nothing can become an alibi for violent reactions to health checks. And, even more, for riots of this magnitude."

The catastrophe that took place creates an opportunity for a new, Greek-centered policy, one which will put above all else the interests of the inhabitants of Lesvos and Moria.

The European Community can no longer continue to be blackmailed by Erdogan's threats, which he launches every now and then, that he will open the "tap" for more refugees.

And I am sure that Greek authorities are already investigating the possibility that foreign elements were involved in the catastrophe that took place.

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