Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Athens and other Greek cities on Sunday to demand justice for the victims of the country’s worst train crash in decades. The protesters, mainly students and railway workers, accused the government and the railway company of negligence and corruption that led to the tragedy.
On February 23, a passenger train derailed and collided with a freight train near Tempi, a mountainous area in central Greece. The crash killed 57 people, including 15 children, and injured more than 100 others. The train was carrying about 400 passengers, mostly students returning from a school trip to Thessaloniki.
The protesters blamed the crash on the poor condition of the railway infrastructure, which they said had not been properly maintained or upgraded for years. They also claimed that the railway company had cut corners on safety measures and staff training to save costs. They demanded that those responsible for the crash be held accountable and that the victims’ families be compensated.
The protesters also expressed their anger at the government’s response to the crash, which they said was slow and inadequate. They criticized the prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, for not visiting the crash site or meeting with the victims’ relatives. They also accused the government of trying to cover up the causes and consequences of the crash.
The government has denied any wrongdoing and has promised a thorough investigation into the crash. It has also announced a series of measures to improve the safety and quality of the railway network, such as installing new signaling systems, upgrading tracks and bridges, and hiring more staff. The government has also pledged to provide financial and psychological support to the victims and their families.
The train crash has sparked a national debate on the state of Greece’s public services and infrastructure, which have suffered from years of austerity and mismanagement. Many Greeks have expressed their frustration and distrust with the political system and the institutions that are supposed to protect them. The train crash has also raised questions about the role and responsibility of private companies that operate public utilities and services in Greece.