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.
Police in Athens attacked thousands of people.
#Τεμπη #Τεμπη_Τραγωδια #Λαρισα #τρενα #τραυματιες #Antireport #Greece #athens pic.twitter.com/27GscZjwnxADVERTISEMENT
— Partizan Yunanistan (@partizanGreece1) March 5, 2023
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.
Clashes erupt in Athens while thousands protest the #Greecetraincrash putting the blame on the government. #Greece pic.twitter.com/w4CUjjpjmN
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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.
Greek protesters gather in Athens after a train derailment that killed 57 people
Thousands of people have protested across the country in recent days as public anger grows over the government's failure to manage the rail network. pic.twitter.com/6k35LmWtwY
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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