Clashes break out as tens of thousands march in Greece to protest train disaster


Thousands of people marching Athens And cities across Greece protested Wednesday after 57 people died in the country’s worst train crash, exposing significant rail safety deficiencies.

Labor unions and student organizations organized demonstrations, while strikes blocked the islands and public transport services in Athens, where at least 30,000 people took part in the protests.

Clashes followed rallies in Athens and two other cities.

More than 20,000 people attended rallies in Thessaloniki. Greeceis the second largest city of India, where several dozen youths challenged the police cordon.

Twelve students of the city’s university were among those killed in a head-on accident between two trains last week.

Police fired tear gas in the southern city of Patras, where earlier a municipal band played music from a funeral march leading the demonstration.

In the central city of Larissa, near the site of the train collision, students holding black balloons chanted “No more profit than our lives!”

The accident happened on February 28 near the city of Tempe in northern Greece. A passenger train collided with a cargo carrier coming in the opposite direction on the same line and derailed some of its cars.

Also read: Strikes, protests in Greece as anger grows over train crash

The station master accused of keeping the trains on the same track has been charged with negligent homicide and other crimes, and the country’s transport minister and senior railway officials resigned the day after the accident.

But revelations of serious safety gaps on Greece’s busiest rail line have put the centre-right government of Prime Minister Kirikos Mitsotakis on the defensive.

He has promised the government’s full cooperation for the judicial inquiry into the accident.

“This is more than a train collision and a tragic train accident. You feel the country has derailed,” said Knossos Iliopoulos, a spokesman for Greece’s main left-wing opposition party Syriza.

Senior officials from the European Union Railway Agency were expected in Athens as part of promised aid to help Greece improve railway safety.

The agency has publicly highlighted Greece’s delays in implementing safeguards in the past.

Greece’s new transport minister, George Gerapatritis, said security experts from Germany were also expected to travel to Greece to advise the government.

“I, too, express my grief and sorrow at what happened in Tempe. This is an unprecedented national tragedy, which has shocked us all because of the magnitude of the tragedy: a large number of our fellow human beings. This unjustified loss of,” said Gerapetritis.

He acknowledged major lapses in safety procedures on the night of the crash. The strikes have halted all national train services since the collision.

Wednesday’s protests were also supported by civil servants’ associations and groups striking on International Women’s Day.

Subways in Athens ran for a few hours to allow people to get to the demonstration. The strikes also closed government primary schools and public hospitals were operating at reduced capacity.

This story is sourced from third party syndicated feeds, agencies. MID-DAY DOES NOT ACCEPT ANY RESPONSIBILITY OR RESPONSIBILITY FOR ITS RELIABILITY, RELIABILITY, RELIABILITY AND DATA OF THE TEXT. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to change, delete or remove content (without notice) at its sole discretion for any reason.

Read original article here

Leave A Reply