20.1 C
Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Police clash with protesters in Athens during train-crash memorial

Demonstrators blame Tuesday’s tragedy on the Greek government’s cost-cutting policies in railway sector

Violent scenes unfolded in the Greek capital Athens on Sunday as protesters vented their anger by attacking police officers. The rally was held to commemorate the victims of the deadly train crash on Tuesday, leading railway workers to claim years of government underinvestment had led to the tragedy.

As many as 10,000 people turned up in front of the Parliament shortly after midday, with students and left-wing activists joining railway workers. Demonstrators released black balloons into the sky, chanting “this crime won’t be forgotten!” and waving placards with slogans such as “their policies cost human lives!” – an apparent reference to the Greek government’s cost-cutting exercises.

During the course of the event, a small group of hooded protesters began pelting police with petrol bombs, with officers in riot gear responding with tear gas and stun grenades. Several arrests were also made in the process.

At least 57 people lost their lives and scores more sustained injuries on Tuesday night when a passenger train with more than 350 on board collided head-on with a freight train on the same track near the town of Tempe, close to Greece’s eastern coast.

The incident has proved to be the deadliest of its kind in living memory in that country.

According to Reuters, the train, which was traveling from Athens to the northern city of Thessaloniki, was full of university students returning after a long holiday weekend.

READ MORE: Horror train crash kills dozens

Railway workers have been holding rotating walkouts since Wednesday to denounce a chronic lack of funding in the rail infrastructure. Unions are describing the safety systems in their current form as inadequate.


While Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ government blamed human error for the collision, he acknowledged on Sunday that, if there had been a remote security system in place, “it would have been, in practice, impossible for the accident to happen.

Taking to Facebook, the premier apologized to the entire nation and to the relatives of the victims in particular, pledging a swift investigation into the tragedy.

March 05, 2023 at 08:33PM


Support Us

Secured by Paypal

Related Stories

Check out other tags:

Most Popular Articles