Mass strike in Greece after train crash, new demonstrations announced

A major strike is being held in Greece today to protest the train accident that killed 57 people last week. There are no two-way ferry services to the Greek islands. In many cities, trams, subways and buses remain inactive, while railway workers stay at home.

A large number of demonstrations are also planned, including in the center of Athens, as in the past few days. High turnout is expected. Student and teacher associations have announced that they will close to join the protest. Most of those who died were students who had left for Thessaloniki, an important student city, after a long weekend.

The huge safety problems that arose on the railways due to the train accident caused anger in the country. Railroad workers have said over the years that they have warned several governments of the line’s deteriorating condition, to no avail. For example, automatic protection systems do not work and drivers have to regularly ignore signals that are permanently red.

little experience

Workers also say there are too many people with no experience in railroads on temporary contracts. The Larissa station chief responsible for the accident is said to have been newly appointed and not adequately trained. He risks getting a life sentence.

Prime Minister Mitsotakis initially said the disaster was caused by human error, but apologized for that statement on Sunday. He acknowledged that years of ignoring railroad workers’ concerns may also have played a role. The Greek government’s four-year term ends this summer. Elections will be held in the coming months.

European Union transport experts are traveling to Athens today to meet with Greek government officials. You promised to help the Greeks improve rail safety.

Source: NOS