Fires in Greece: when migrants become scapegoats

European Data Journalism Network

The Greek region of Evros, devastated by fires last summer, is also the external border of the EU: there is a strong temptation to blame the fires on the migrants who cross it. Experts, however, point out the responsibilities of the Greek institutions.

Nearly four months after the devastating wildfires in Evros, the Greek government has taken drastic measures to address the two factors that it had proclaimed as principal causes of this unprecedented disaster: climate change and illegal migration.

Meanwhile, findings of post-fire autopsies in the affected region tell a different story, revealing on the one hand deficiencies in state mechanisms with regards to the prevention and management of natural disasters and, on the other hand, insufficient evidence to back up allegations of intentional arson against asylum seekers crossing the border.