The deadly floods that killed 20 people and wrecked houses, businesses and infrastriucture in western Attica last week is the result of "criminal and inexcusable" construction and town planning of the past decades, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Monday, speaking in parliament during a debate on the financial aid the government will distribute to low-income earners and pensioners.
"It is an unprecedented disaster caused by an extremely extreme phenomenon," he said, adding that the floods revealed "in the most tragic way the criminal and inexcusable political choices of decades in construction and town planning.?
"When you are indifferent towards nature for decades, the time comes when [nature] takes revenge. And the price in this case is great, the pain deep. The images I saw were shocking. Our commitment by the side of the people affected is a priority and our obligation," he added.
Tsipras reiterated the measures announced by the government for those affected by the floods: 5,000 euros for each damages house and 8,000 euros for each business, with the money expected to be disbursed in the next few days.
Commenting on safety concerns in western Attica, after looting was reported in the area, he said that 1,200 policemen have been deployed to boost security.
Concerning the financial aid to poorer Greeks, Tsipras said priority will be given to the unemployed, the young and low-income pensioners.
"Today, with a sense of responsibility, we return to Greek society a part of what is due. Today we are moving forward with an act of social justice. Many will say again that this is a communication trick. But it is the people who will benefit from this initiative who will decide if it is," he said.