Mitsotakis: I prefer a sincere apology to no apology for the dead in Mati and Mandra

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Mitsotakis: I prefer a sincere apology to no apology for the dead in Mati and Mandra

Elpis erupts in Parliament against the bad weather, in the debate on the motion of censure against the government, with the prime minister answering harshly to the president of SYRIZA for what he accuses the government of managing the bad weather “Elpis”.

“You know better than me how traumatic the experiences of natural disasters can be. Attiki Odos should have been closed earlier. But most of the responsibility lies with Attiki Odos, which claimed it could keep the road open. “No meteorologist predicted the volume of snow that fell in the center of Athens and in the Northern Suburbs, which reached 50 points”, noted Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Responding to Mr. Tsipras, who accused him of “sham apology”, he said that “I secured the 2,000 euros compensation. You, Mr. Tsipras, why such a sudden love for Attiki Odos? You mentioned a sham apology. I prefer a sincere apology, to no apology when we had the dead in Mati “.

“You have never apologized for either Mati or Mandra,” he said.

Earlier, Alexis Tsipras, addressing the Minister of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection, Christos Stylianidis, said “you said sorry, without pointing out what you did wrong, then why did you apologize?”.

The president of SYRIZA asked Christos Stylianidis to answer whether he really asked for the cessation of heavy vehicles during the heavy snowfall, as Attiki Odos stated that she asked for it and her request was not accepted.

“You said you did not have a radar to predict what would happen, but EMY is refuting you, saying that we had a model that gave the exact size of the snowfall.
“You will tell us what you did wrong or you will throw the ball on the podium”, he pointed out.

The first intervention of the Prime Minister in detail:

“Ladies and gentlemen, I did not intend to speak either, but I have to give some answers to what I heard from the leader of the official opposition.

First of all, I would like to point out that the Minister for Civil Protection and Climate Crisis has spoken in Parliament with unusual political sincerity and honesty. Acknowledging the fact that he has been assigned a difficult task coming from abroad, taking on a role he did not need. He was not looking for a career. However, he came to Greece to offer, utilizing his important European experience and he is absolutely right to claim that the Civil Protection mission is a national mission.

Snow, earthquakes, bad weather, floods have no color and I think you know much better than I do how traumatic the experiences of natural disasters can be. You experienced them well in your skin. Both you and the executives who were judged to manage crises on your own days.

The Minister therefore acknowledged that mistakes had indeed been made regarding the management of Attiki Odos. I will tell you directly: the Attiki Odos should have been closed earlier than it was closed, obviously, this is proven by the result of the confinement. But the Greek state does not have the biggest share of responsibility, Attiki Odos itself has it, the concessionaire, who claimed that he could keep a road open and finally failed to do so. In the process, however, there were striking weaknesses in the preparation of the Attiki Odos for such a phenomenon.

As for the issue of snow, I want to tell you that no meteorologist predicted the volume of snow that fell in the center of Athens. And unlike other snowstorms, the snow fell during the day at noon – usually at night – and no meteorologist had predicted that it would drop half a meter in the center of Athens and in the northern suburbs.

If we had the opportunity to have this forecast – unfortunately we do not have it because we are a country not very familiar with the snow, we will have to acquire this know-how – obviously we would have closed the city by Sunday night. As we did in other cases where the forecasts of meteorologists were not confirmed. So it was not a matter of political courage, it was a matter of utilizing and analyzing the data we had at our disposal. We had this data and we made these moves.

But I have – to conclude on the angry style that you always adopt in your attitudes – two remarks. The first: I have identified an impressive silence of the official opposition regarding the responsibilities of Attiki Odos. You mentioned that I should not act as an intermediary. I secured 2,000 euros for each trapped. You never did it in your own days. And your law did not even provide for the possibility of compensation in case the concessionaire did not fulfill his obligations. So mediating or the Prime Minister who was in every mood to clash with a big company, forcing it to take on its responsibilities?

So you, Mr. Tsipras, why such a sudden love for Attiki Odos? Why no willingness to acknowledge her great responsibilities? A question you have to answer.

And finally, because once again you referred to a so-called pretense apology, I prefer the sincere apology with a mood of self-criticism – even if it is in danger of being described as pretense – to any apology we never heard from you when you had 120 dead in An eye in Mandra as well “.

The second intervention of the Prime Minister:

“Mr. Tsipras, I think you have realized that the agreement of Attiki Odos, Attiki Diadromes, to compensate with 2,000 euros every vehicle that was trapped inside the highway does not negate the right of every citizen to go to court and claim anything more that he deems must claim. Nor does it obviously negate the ability of the state to investigate the responsibilities of the concessionaire and to take all the necessary steps in order to protect the public interest.

I repeat: New Democracy law is the ability of the state to claim compensation from the concessionaire in case the road is closed. And in any case, you persistently referred to the two meetings that took place and to the non-observance of minutes when you know that they are never kept in practice in that meeting.

And you come and say, ‘Who’s right over here? Does Attiki Odos have it? ” -of course taking the Attiki Odos- or the Ministry and all the others who participated in this meeting? You are not telling me, Mr. Tsipras, if the Attica Routes had done everything right, why did their CEO resign that night? I ask. Why did he resign?

If the Attica Routes had done everything right, why did they agree to give 2,000 euros to each trapped person? Is not this the most tangible recognition of the responsibility of the Road for the suffering, the unbelievable one, to which thousands of our fellow citizens were subjected who were trapped inside the highway?

I repeat: the support you provide to a private company raises big questions for me, when it is clear that it has the greatest share of responsibility for what happened.

Finally, you never apologized to Mr. Tsipras, neither for Mati, nor for Mandra. A few months later, in a question posed to you at the Thessaloniki International Fair, you took on political responsibility. You never apologized.

I had no intention of bringing the debate back to a tragic moment for the country, to an event that stigmatized the collective conscience and will stigmatize it for many years to come. But I want to repeat, because you are talking here about the ethos and style of power, that the criticism we leveled at you was not primarily about the fact that a fire took the lives of more than 100 of our fellow citizens, about the fact that you did not have the “” 112 “, that you did not have time to evacuate. It was indeed a tragedy.

Surely you could have done better. That was not the criticism, Mr Tsipras, you have forgotten. It was for this miserable show that you set up that night when you knew there were dead and you went live and said “when will the planes fly”, in an attempt to absolve you of your responsibility, the next few days you showed us the digital photos from Mr. Pappas’s alleged satellites about how, presumably, this was the result of arson.

It was the cover-up, Mr. Tsipras, it was the cover-up and the ethos and style of your power which was stigmatized and finally inscribed in the consciousness of the Greek people.

We have another perception of how we should take responsibility. An apology is an acknowledgment that something went wrong on the part of the government. It was done by the Prime Minister, it was done by the Minister. I told you clearly what could have been done better and how we could have intervened faster to close Attiki Odos.

Indeed, I believe that even today, the Minister of Civil Protection, the next time he needs to manage such a crisis, will not receive in cash the assurances that some people can give him that supposedly “there are so many snowplows”, “snowplows have oil”, ” the salt is where it should be “. He will look for it more and he has to look for it more, because that is his role and that is his job.

But I also want to remind you, Mr Tsipras, that when it came to things, there was no Civil Protection in the country. The Civil Protection – as you may know – was housed in a building which would probably be the first to collapse in the event of a major earthquake. This was the Civil Protection you handed over to us.

We made a great effort with Nikos Hardalias, who did a great job both in the field and in the field but also preparing the program “AIGIS”. And today we have the opportunity to have 1.7 billion euros at our disposal to finally acquire the infrastructure but also the know-how and the procedures, so that we can be better prepared in case we find ourselves – which we are almost certain – facing not only extreme phenomena which come from the effects of climate change, but also from the fact that we are a seismogenic country and in fact we will be called upon with certainty, at some point in the future, to deal with some major earthquakes.

This is an obligation we have towards the Greek people. We will learn from our mistakes, as we always do. We will continue to fight for the Greek people to gain a political protection that is worthy of the challenges we face.

And I think that from this very interesting first discussion that we had that the citizens, once again, may have drawn some useful conclusions about how you perceive and how I perceive the ethos and the style of power “.

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