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Supreme Court orders investigation into floods in central Greece

Greece’s Supreme Court Prosecutor has ordered an investigation into the floods  in Central Greece and demands in-depth probes in potential mismanagement of thousands of euros in funding for anti-flooding works in the area. The investigation extends just 3 years backwards, after medicane Ianos hit the area in 2020.

The prosecutor instructed the First-Instance Court prosecutors of Volos, Karditsa, Larissa and Trikala to investigate the possibility of “any ex officio prosecutable criminal acts, such as flooding -with possible intent or negligence -, manslaughter by omission, breach of duty,  exposure, etc.” in connection with the recent devastating floods in Thessaly.

Furthermore, First Instance prosecutors in the flooded areas should investigate “what exact measures were taken by the regional authorities after the storm “Ianos” in 2020, regarding anti-flooding measures but also measures that were taken after the forecast of Storm Daniel by the National Meteorological Service, in order to avoid or at least mitigate its impact and, above all, to protect the lives of their fellow citizens. In other words, before the phenomenon, but also during the phenomenon, at the level of coordinating their services responsible for civil protection.”

In addition, investigated is whether the construction of anti-flooding works was in accordance with the rules of art and science, such as the bridge over the Xeria stream in Almyros of Magnesia, which had been affected by the floods of “Ianos”,  was reconstructed (“upgraded” or otherwise “restored or reinforced”) end of 2022 – spring of 2023 and finally collapsed in the floods of September 2023.

Under investigation are the Regional Governor of Thessaly, the deputy governors of Magnisia, Karditsa, Trikala and Larissa, the mayors of the above mentioned cities but also construction companies commissioned with the anti-flooding measures and other works after medicane Ianos, state broadcaster ERT reported.

The aim is to ascertain whether these projects were ever carried out and, if they were, whether they met the necessary standards to survive the latest storm, Daniel, which swept through Thessaly last week, causing major damage to infrastructure, public and private property, and farmland, and claiming 15 lives, while still people missing.[stand Sept 12, 2023]

According to recent media reports and also statements by the Thessaly Regional governor a year ago, almost half a billion euros were given for anti-flooding measures in the area after Ianos.

Investigations are expected to be carried out by the local prosecutors  once the situation in the area allows them. will focus mainly on the actions of regional and local authorities.

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