Clashes erupt in Greece as hundreds protest the prepare tragedy

Greek police fired tear gasoline and protesters threw petrol bombs on Thursday as greater than 40,000 folks took to the streets to criticize the federal government and categorical anger over final month’s prepare catastrophe that killed 57 folks.

The protests had been accompanied by a 24-hour strike – the most important thus far for the reason that catastrophe – this time referred to as by Greece’s main non-public and public sector unions.

Clashes broke out in Syntagma Sq. close to Parliament in Athens, with police firing tear gasoline and stun grenades at demonstrators who threw petrol bombs and stones.

Because the protesters retreated, they smashed visitors lights and store home windows, and set garbage bins on fireplace, AFP correspondents stated.

State tv ERT stated a plainclothes police driver of a left-wing MP was barely injured. A protester smashed his automotive window.

The police added that ten folks had been arrested for questioning.

The February 28 prepare crash uncovered many years of security failures on Greek railways and put vital strain on the conservative authorities forward of nationwide elections.

Police stated 25,000 folks protested in Athens on Thursday and about 8,500 in every of the nation’s subsequent main cities, Thessaloniki and Patras, the place temporary clashes additionally broke out.

Thursday’s industrial strike shut down the civil service, flights and ferries.

Many demonstrators urged Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ authorities to resign over the nation’s deadliest railway accident.

“This crime won’t be forgotten,” protesters from the nation’s communist PAME commerce union chanted as the group marched in the direction of parliament and the workplaces of the Hellenic Practice railway service firm in Athens.

College students shouted “murderers” and protesters threw flyers of Mitsotakis sporting a stationmaster’s hat, studying “Everybody’s fault however mine”.

The rail catastrophe occurred simply earlier than midnight when a passenger prepare collided head-on with a freight prepare in central Greece after unintentionally letting each of them run on the identical monitor.

A lot of the passengers had been college students getting back from the weekend.

“Issues should change on this nation, we merely can’t mourn all these deaths,” stated Athens protester Stavrola Hatzithodorou, referring to the lethal forest fires which have ravaged Greece in recent times in addition to the prepare accident.

“We hope issues will change on this election,” Hatzitheodoro, who works within the non-public sector, informed AFP.

A station supervisor and three different railway officers had been charged, however public anger centered on long-standing mismanagement of the community and a sequence of generally violent mass protests rocked the nation.

‘Killers’ Prior to now week, some 65,000 folks have taken half in demonstrations throughout the nation, together with about 40,000 in Athens.

Along with the 57 folks killed, many extra victims are nonetheless in hospital, together with a passenger preventing for his life.

The Italian state-owned Hellenic Practice, which runs rail providers in Greece, stated these injured within the accident and the households of these killed would every be priced between 5,000 and 42,000 euros ($44,600) to “cowl pressing wants”.

“That is under no circumstances an admission of duty,” the corporate careworn late Wednesday.

The daddy of one of many deceased passengers declined the provide.

“We do not need their cash,” Pavlos Aslanidis informed Alpha TV on Thursday. “This was a mass homicide. I refuse to simply accept an apology from the killers.”

“If this had been a severe nation, everybody within the Ministry of Transportation can be handcuffed,” he stated.

Greece’s transport minister resigned after the incident and Mitsotakis sought to quell public anger by repeatedly apologizing and promising a clear investigation.

Slipping polls All rail visitors throughout the nation got here to a halt after the accident, though appearing transport minister Georgios Gerapetrits stated this week that providers would progressively resume from March 22.

Gerapetritis stated a report ready by consultants investigating the tragedy can be delivered inside a month.

Investigators individually opened an investigation into doable mismanagement of the railroad’s funds over the previous 15 years.

Gerapetritis and the previous transport ministers will seem earlier than a parliamentary committee subsequent Monday to reply MPs’ questions concerning the tragedy.

As public anger mounts forward of the anticipated elections in Could, Mitsotakis has seen a 7.5-point lead within the polls narrowing to only over three p.c in latest polls.

He has been criticized for blaming “human error” for the accident and the stationmaster who was stated to have directed the trains onto the identical stretch of monitor accidentally.

However railway unions have lengthy been warning of issues with the underfunded and understaffed prepare community.

Mitsotakis had been anticipated to set the date for the April elections. Polling is now anticipated in Could.


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