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Who Wants To Destroy Greece?


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#1 yannis_s

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 08:37 AM

For the last 48 hours we have been witnessing an attack against Greece, a different kind of war using fire instead of bombs and cannons. The whole of continental Greece is on fire. Villages are burned, people are burned, forests are burned, Greece is burned. Our eyes are full of tears for our poor country which once again has become a victim of the plans of twisted minds.

We see satellite images with huge fires burning Greece and the clouds of smoke traveling above the Mediterranean sea and covering North Africa. We hear voices full of agony calling for help when their villages are surrounded by fire and the flames rise tenths of meters to the sky. We see images of burned convoys of cars trying to escape from the fire that had surrounded their villages and we hear descriptions of how these people burned alive when they were trapped in the flames. A mother was found dead covering her 4 children with her body. None of them survived the fire of hell that burns Greece. Fifty three is the number of the victims so far, a number that is expected to increase when the fire will cease and the rescue teams will be able to search each burned house, each burned village.

We witness fires every summer in Greece, but this is not the usual case of a fire started accidentally or by those who burn the forests to turn them into high-priced plots of land for sale. This is a well-planned and coordinated attempt to destroy Greece. Who are the people responsible for this undeclared war? There is no answer so far and that makes the people of Greece even more worried, because we cannot fight ghosts.

The fires are still burning. The strong winds of these days feed them and spread them to every corner of the beautiful forests of continental Greece. Our country will never be the same in the future. The forests will be destroyed, olive trees and fruit trees will be destroyed, the future in the burned areas will be as black as the burned land.

These are days of sorrow for the destruction of our beautiful, beloved country. These are days of rage against the twisted minds with the unholy plans for the future of Greece and its people. These are days of war and Hellenes have proved that they know how to fight when they need to protect their country Hellas.


LINKS:
  • In his special message on Saturday afternoon, the Prime-minister of Greece called for the contribution of all citizens to deal with the indescribable tragedy while he declared all prefectures in a state of emergency: Greece in state of emergency
  • News from Greece

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#2 Dinny

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 10:13 AM

It is indeed a tragedy what is happening these days on the mainland. Here everybody is stuck in front of the TV following with horror what people is going through in the firestruck areas, immagining their grief. This night I had awful dreams about the fire catching Crete as well and in my dream I lived the same desperation as people on the mainland must feel: my family, my animals, how could I save them?

I cannot begin to immagine what kind of people could be behind this organized attack. Some time ago when Southern Italy was living the same nightmare I read in an Italian newspaper that the fire is often set on by old people with only a small pension to live on. Some criminals would approach them and offer some 2-3000 Euro to such a person to set on a little fire in the woods. The aim is obviously to get rid of the forrest so that land could be used for building. Although the law in Italy prohibits building on land obtained in this way for 10 years these criminals seem not to be in a hurry. They can wait. In the meantime they can start construction on the territories they burned down 10 years ago.

Of course I have no idea if the reason for these fires in Greece is for construction purposes, it seems rather that everything has gone out off hand and cannot be controlled anymore. I am quite confident that nobody would have the courage to exploit these territories even in the future, whoever will ever earn a cent by the consequences from this tragedy would risk to carry the mark of the perpetrators and would probably not live long enough to benefit from whatever the scheme was.

I am feeling so terribly sorry for the people in these areas, even if they save their lives they will have lost whatever they have and it will take decades for the land to get back to the beautiful environment these criminals have destroyed.

#3 Tim

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 10:25 AM

Yannis
I would like to think that many xenos share your distress over these horrific fires in Greece. Personally I cannot imagine anything more horrific than being isolated in a village as fires of these magnitudes approach. From heaven to a living hell in moments!
As to how they happened and what to do about them, well it is perhaps too early to offer explanations and solutions - and anyway who could explain the mind of someone who deliberately starts a fire especially when the consequences are so obviously going to be horrendous.
It seems that all over the world we are experiencing weather conditions that are extremes of one sort or another and that we find difficult to cope with. I think we will have to start thinking less of ourselves as individuals but how we can best prepare to defend our communities to minimise the damage and suffering that these extremes cost us as a society.
Our thoughts are with Hellas file.

#4 Ray

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 10:51 AM

Yannis,

I too have been watching the development of the catastrophic fires in the Peloponese. Today there are more than 200 seperate fires across the region. When one is controlled another breaks out. With 53 people now dead I am feeling deeply angry and frustrated that here in Crete there is little I can do except watch carefully for smoke.

I have been talking to Cretan friends of mine and they all feel as you do, that this is an attack on Greece as a nation. They say that it may come from Turkish sources or even Kosovan sources. It has also been suggested that it may be an attempt by Al Kaida sympathisers to destroy a deeply Christian country that is Greece.

Yesterday the south and east of the Peloponese was burning with high winds pushing fire south. So how come today Pyrgos in the north west just south of Patra is burning? This is not the natural weather conditions by any means.

And when I hear on the Greek news on so many TV stations that old people are up in the hills in villages with the fire approaching, desperately telephoning for help for their lives, I feel lost in their agony. Their homes and trees are being lost, their livestock and their land. I see young men driving to the villages on motorbikes to rescure their families. Great courage in the face of this disaster.

I pray to God that this disaster comes to an end soon, but when I see the burnt lands and villages, the funerals, I know that the agony will go on.

Three people so far have been arrested, but there must be more than this.

Ray

#5 lars

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 11:07 AM

Yannis,
It is very sad and tragic days for Greece and its people.
Tim has expressed also my feelings and I really hope that they can put out the fires and get hold of the people who started them.
Something like this happened also to Italy some years ago.
We feel sorrow in our hearts and our thoughts go to the Greek people.
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#6 Ray

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 11:15 AM

From Daily Mail UK 26/8/07

Fires rage across Greece for second night; at least 49 people dead
Last updated at 09:16am on 26th August 2007

Fires tore through parched forests and swallowed villages across Greece, bearing down on villages near Ancient Olympia in the south a day after the government declared a nationwide state of emergency.
Nearly 50 people were dead. The fire department said efforts to contain the inferno were helped by a drop in the gale-force winds that swept fires through thousands of hectares (acres) of forest and scrub since Friday.
"Fires are burning in more than half the country," department spokesman Nikos Diamandis said. "This is definitely an unprecedented disaster for Greece."

Diamandis said it was impossible to estimate how large an area, and how many homes had been destroyed. "We are optimistic that, if the weather and the reduction in the winds hold long enough, we may be able to be more effective," Diamandis said. The worst blazes were concentrated in the mountains of the Peloponnese in southern Greece and on the island of Evia north of Athens.
Early today, flames were approaching villages a few kilometers (miles) from Ancient Olympia and the town of Pyrgos. Desperate residents and officials appeared on television to appeal for help. Rescuers said they found bodies on the side of the road and in cars

"We're going to burn alive here," one woman told Greek television from the village of Lambeti. She said residents were using garden hoses in an attempt to save their homes.
The fire department said that Pyrgos, and the town of Kalamata 90 kilometers (56 miles) southwest, were not in danger. Church bells rang out in the village of Kolyri, near Ancient Olympia, as residents tried to gather their belongings and flee through the night, said one man who called the television station.
After first light, firefighting planes began dropping water in the area, and Ancient Olympia Mayor Giorgos Aidonis said the ancient site was no longer in imminent peril.
"We are among the lucky," he said. "Ancient Olympia is not in danger at the moment." But other areas were still being consumed by flames, with much of the Peloponnese ablaze. Prayers were held in churches across the country for the blazes to relent.

A forest fire in southern Peloponnese
Yesterday, new fronts had emerged as dozens of fresh fires broke out - including some blamed on arson. Another blaze in the area of Kalyvia, between Athens and the ancient site of Sounion to the south, had abated early Sunday, while 42 fires in various parts of the country had been brought under control.
Nearly 1,000 soldiers and military helicopters reinforced firefighters stretched to the limit by Greece's worst summer of wildfires.
In the most ravaged area - a string of mountain villages in southern Greece - rescue crews picked through a grim aftermath that spoke of last-minute desperation as the fires closed in.
Dozens of charred bodies were found across fields, homes, along roads and in cars, including the remains of a mother hugging her four children.
By sea and by land, authorities evacuated hundreds of people trapped by the flames.
Senior Health Ministry official Panagiotis Efstathiou said that the bodies of 49 people who died because of the fires had been taken to hospitals.
The fire department said it could confirm 47 deaths. There were fears the toll could increase as rescue crews searched recently burned areas.
At least 12 countries were sending reinforcements for Greece's overstretched firefighters, and six water-dropping planes from France and Italy were due to start operations later today.


An iconostasis is seen in front of fire in the village of Kato Samika about 320 kilometres southwest of Athens
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis implied arson was the cause of the blazes.
"So many fires breaking out simultaneously in so many parts of the country cannot be a coincidence," he said in a nationally televised address.
"The state will do everything it can to find those responsible and punish them."
A 65-year-old man was arrested and charged with arson and multiple counts of homicide in a fire that killed six people in Areopolis, a town in the southern Peloponnese, the fire department spokesman, Diamandis, said.
Separately, two youths were arrested on suspicion of arson in the northern city of Kavala, he said. Their parents would also likely face charges.
Hospitals across Greece were on alert, and the Health Ministry sent tents for 1,500 people to the south to house those made homeless.
The worst-affected region was around the town of Zaharo, south of Ancient Olympia in the western Peloponnese.
Thick smoke, which blocked out the intense summer sun, could be seen from more than 60 miles (95 kilometres) away.
The blaze broke out Friday afternoon and quickly engulfed villages, trapping dozens of people and killing at least 39. Scores of people were treated in hospitals for burns and breathing problems.
"I feel deep grief for our dead," Karamanlis said in his address. "I feel deep pain for the mother who perished in the flames with her arms round her children. I feel anger - the same that you feel."
Across southern Greece, villages, hotels and resorts were being evacuated.

North of Athens on the island of Evia, a massive fire burned across hillsides and through villages. Strong winds blowing with gale-force gusts on Saturday blew thick smoke southwards into Athens, turning the sky red over the capital and raining ashes down into the city center.
Police and coast guards used patrol boats to evacuate 300 people from the island's town of Aliveri and 40 from the nearby town of Styra.
About 300 tourists, mainly from France, were evacuated from local hotels, Greek-French architect Xavier Pathoulas said.
Reduced winds and a slight dip in temperatures were forecast for today.

The fires have been so severe that authorities said they could not yet provide an estimate of how much damage they had caused, nor what expanse of land had been burned.

Ray

#7 Ray

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 11:30 AM

http://news.bbc.co.u...ope/6963964.stm


Ray

#8 Ros21

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 12:54 PM

Yiannis,
the people of Greece have my heartfelt sympathy for the tragedy that is enveloping your country at this time.
The perpetrators of these crimes against Greece should receive the severest penatly available. If any are linked to property developers then I sincerely hope that their building licences are revoked permanently & the compay directors involved are imprisoned in the harshest jails you have for life.
Ros.

#9 yannis_s

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 01:36 PM

I want to thank you all for your support these tragic moments.

A video was broadcasted today from the Greek news channel. The video was recorded yesterday morning by a resident of the area of Mountain Hymettus, near Athens. It clearly shows 2 men walking in the forest. Thirty seconds later a fire starts there where the 2 men had been. This is one of the many cases of arson that have caused the big fires destroying Peloponnese, Attica and Evia for 3 days now.
There is evidence of arson in many other areas too. Unfortunately none of the culprits has been arrested yet. According to the news, the anti-terrorism service of Greece is investigating all these cases. There is also information that Europol had informed Greece 20 days ago that "something" was going to happen. No details have been announced yet.
Arsonists continue their evil work today too. A new fire started this morning close to Epidavros, in an area with dense forest. The residents of the area were patrolling all night because they were afraid that someone would attempt to burn the virgin forest. This mornign around 10 am they stopped for a break and a cup of coffee. A few minutes later they heard strong explosions and the fire started. The fire is still burning and 3 Greek, 2 French and 1 Italian plane are trying to extinguish it.
Fire is also threatening the town of Kalamata, while to the north another fire is burning close to the ancient Olympia. West Peloponnese and south Evia have been almost completely destroyed.
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#10 yannis_s

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 04:42 PM

The fire is threatening to destroy the archaeological site of ancient Olympia. The firemen are fighting desperately to save Olympia from the huge flames.
The nearby villages are burning and the residents of one of the villages jumped into the river to save themselves from the fire that is burning their houses.
Things will get worse in less than 3 hours, when the sun will set and the airplanes and helicopters will have to stop flying and dropping water on the fire. Greece will live one more night of terror and despair.
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#11 Tinks

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 05:47 PM

It's so terrible to think that people could start these dreadful fires on purpose. I hope the culprits are caught and punished soon.
Curiouser and curiouser.....

#12 Papous

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 01:03 AM

All I can do from here is express my deepest sympathie to all the Greek people. I sincerely hope that the rewards the Greek goverment promised will lead to the apprehension of the villains
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#13 SteveB

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 09:52 AM

This is terrible.Fires that happen naturally are bad enough,but to think this is a deliberate attack is shocking beyond belief!Our thoughts go out to the people of Greece.

#14 Pam

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 12:12 PM

We also have been watching the news and reading about it - the Guardian today had a double page photo of burned out cars in a field near Artemida, a fantastic but tragic picture. It is absolutely terrible and I do agree the scale of this is just too much to be accidental. Our hearts go out to the people of Greece.

Pam & Bob

#15 Assim

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 01:08 PM

stunned

#16 Wim

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 01:58 PM

It truly is a sad and cruel event that occurs to the people of Greece. Whatever "elements" caused this disaster
let us hope and pray that the truth comes out.

In the meantime we, far away from Greece and the "Armageddon", can only write words to soothe the pain and send help. I heard that the only 3 fire extinguishing helicopters we have here in Holland are on their way, but I'm afraid that is the "famous drop in the glass of water".

:rolleyes:
True is that adage: "He who yields to rule by wooden heads, becomes himself a fool."

#17 Kritsa Yvonne

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 05:54 PM

Does anyone know of a disaster fund that we can contribute to?
Kritsa Yvonne

#18 Pam

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 06:12 PM

Hi, Yvonne, just checked on the BBC web site, but there's no information yet. I think at the moment the main thrust is to get help mobilised to put the fires out. Once this is complete (and please God it will be soon), then will be the time to assess the damage and give whatever we can to help people back on their feet.

Pam & Bob

#19 yannis_s

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 07:59 AM

A special fund has been created for aid to those who suffered damages from the fires in Greece. The bank account number is:
Bank of Greece
ΙΒΑΝ GR9801000230000002341103053
SWIFT/BIC: BNGRGRAA

One hundred million euro have been deposited to this fund until now. 50% of these money were deposited by the National Bank of Greece (Ethniki Bank).

LINK: http://www.bankofgre....asp?relid=1460
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#20 Brook

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 04:00 PM

I am sure that the people that love Greece and all Greeks abroad will work together to provide aid for this tragedy that has struck so deep. It is so sad to see the devestation throughout Greece.