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ATHENS, Greece — Demonstrations passed off Wednesday in Athens and cities throughout Greece to protest the deaths of 57 individuals within the nation’s worst prepare catastrophe, which uncovered important security deficiencies.
Labor unions and pupil associations organized the demonstrations, whereas strikes halted ferries to the islands and halted public transportation providers in Athens, the place some 30,000 individuals gathered to hitch the protest.
Subways ran for a number of hours to permit individuals to get to the demonstration within the capital. The strikes additionally closed state-run main faculties and had public hospitals working at lowered capability.
A passenger prepare slammed into an oncoming freight service close to the northern Greek city of Tempe on Feb. 28, killing dozens of passengers, together with many college college students, in burning rail automobiles.
A stationmaster accused of inserting the trains touring in numerous instructions on the identical observe has been charged with negligent murder and different offenses.
However revelations of significant security gaps on Greece’s busiest rail line have put the center-right authorities of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on the defensive. He has pledged the federal government’s full with a judicial inquiry into the crash.
Within the central metropolis of Larissa, close to the scene of the prepare crash, college students holding black balloons chanted “No to earnings over our lives!” A municipal band performed music from a funeral march whereas main the demonstration within the southern metropolis of Patras.
“That is greater than a prepare collision and a tragic railway accident. You get the sense that the nation has derailed,” Nasos Iliopoulos, a spokesperson for Greece’s primary left-wing opposition get together, Syriza, stated.
Senior officers from a European Union railway company had been anticipated in Athens as a part of promised help to assist Greece enhance railway security. The company prior to now publicly highlighted delays in Greece’s implementation of security measures.
Security consultants from Germany additionally had been anticipated to journey to Greece to assist advise the federal government, Greek Transport Minister George Gerapetritis stated.
“I, too, specific my anguish and heartbreak over what occurred in Tempe. That is an unprecedented nationwide tragedy, which has scarred us all due to the magnitude of the tragedy: this unjustified lack of a large number of our fellow human beings,” Gerapetritis stated.
He acknowledged main omissions in security procedures on the evening of the crash. Strikes have halted all nationwide rail providers because the collision occurred.
Wednesday’s protests had been additionally backed by putting civil servants’ associations and teams marking Worldwide Ladies’s Day.