Protests erupt in Greece over train collision despite Greek PM’s apology

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Public TV English
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ATHENS: Protests broke out in Greece on Sunday over a deadly train collision which claimed the lives of 57 people, CNN reported. The protests have been reported despite an apology from Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

In a statement, Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis said “we cannot, will not, and must not hide behind human error,” as per the CNN report. In a statement issued on Sunday, Mitsotakis stressed that it should not be possible for two trains moving in opposite directions “to be on the same track and not be noticed by anyone.”

“As prime minister, I owe everyone, but above all to the relatives of the victims, a big sorry. Both personally, and in the name of all those who ruled the country for years,” Mitsotakis said in the statement as per CNN.

The Greek PM’s statement suggested systemic issues in the Greek railway network, promising announcements to “improve the safety of the railways” in the coming days, as per the news report. A passenger train carrying over 350 people collided with a freight train on Tuesday evening in Tempi near Larrisa.

The collision has sparked anger among people over safety standards in the Greek railway network. The protests which erupted on Sunday were only the latest, with police using tear gas on demonstrators who gathered outside parliament in Athens. According to CNN, one of the slogans read, “This crime should not be covered up, we will be the voice of all the dead.”

On Thursday, after a train station manager was arrested in Larissa in connection with the collision, Greek authorities made public dispatch recordings revealing that one of the train drivers involved had got instructions to ignore a red light, as per the news report.

The Greek Transport Minister had resigned after the train collision. Greek Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis said the railway system inherited by the government is “not up to 21st century standards” as he resigned from his post.

On Thursday, the Greek federation of rail workers decided to launch a 24-hour strike to highlight poor working conditions and chronic understaffing, CNN reported. Meanwhile, the Greek metro workers had also announced another 24-hour strike. (ANI)

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