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Report Damns Local Authorities over Greek Floods

Forestry officials, elected municipal officers and engineers from the private sector share responsibility for the deadly floods that hit west of Athens in November 2017, according to a report published Monday.
Twenty-four people died in the floods that swept through Mandra and devastated the town after torrential rain.
Public Administration Inspector General Maria Papaspyrou said in an 82-page report that the authorities ought to have accelerated anti-flooding projects, given the history and frequency of the phenomenon in the area.
She proposed that all responsible parties be prosecuted.
In her report, Papaspyrou identified some of those responsible:
– The forestry department of the town of Egaleo which delayed for three years the decision of what was forestland or not, thus delaying in turn the beginning of needed flood-protection works.
– The city planners of the town of Elefsina who did not follow through with the timely registration of illegal structures along the main stream-bed, allowing instead permits for building inside it. There are over 39 illegal structures lying in the bed, including storehouses, homes, gas stations, depots, and soccer fields, she said.
– The Mandra municipality which allowed the building of a depot and a municipal playing field inside the stream-bed.
– Private-sector engineers who assumed and completed the construction of illegal structures within the stream-bed.
(Source: AMNA)

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