Deadly floods in Greece show need for better EU disaster response
Calling on the European Commission to take action to relieve the suffering and damage wrought by recent flooding in the Greek region of Attica, Vice-President of the European Parliament Dimitrios Papadimoulis said EU promises of solidarity must be acted upon urgently.
“We are experiencing a human tragedy. We are already mourning 23 dead from a lethal storm, which has caused incredible suffering and damage. What we need, Commissioner, is European solidarity in practice. Not just words. This was a promise, given a few days ago by President Jean-Claude Juncker to the Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras. And now this must be acted upon,” Papadimoulis told Commissioner for Regional Development Corina Crețu, at the European Parliament plenary session in Brussels.
“The Greek government, the (Attica) Region, and the Greek people are doing all that they can. They have implemented brave measures to support the victims, to alleviate suffering and work on a major flood protection programme that should have been done decades ago. But we also need Europe to increase resources to deal with such natural disasters.”
“Increased flexibility and response times are essential. When people suffer – and we have experienced such tragedies recently in Italy, Portugal, the Czech Republic and Germany – we want not just to hear European solidarity in terms of words, but to see it as part of essential actions, like delegating materials and human resources. That's what we expect from you.”