Athens Mayor Plans Monument in Memory of 57 Tempe Train Crash Victims

ATHENS – After students repainted on the pavement outside the Parliament the names of the 57 victims of the February, 2023 train crash, after they were erased by cleaning crews, Athens Mayor Haris Doukas said a monument would be built in their memory.

“The City of Athens is committed to ensuring that the names of the victims of the Tempe train crash remain indelibly etched in our collective memory,” Doukas said in a social media post.

He said he intends to propose the construction of a monument commemorating the victims at the upcoming municipal council meeting after a City Hall official said the order to remove the names came from Parliament officials.

The names had been put down in red paint during a protest attended by tens of thousands of protesters demanding justice for the victims with an investigation already a year long and being kept secret from the public.

The next day, students knelt and rewrote the names near the Evzones guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, the site popular among tourists for taking photographs in the main Syntagma Square, home to countless demonstrations over the years.

A petition launched by the association of victims’ relatives has already gotten 1,204, 147 names demanding the end of immunity for Members of Parliament and ministers. The then transport minister, Kostas Karamanlis, resigned but was elected to Parliament.

“The City of Athens unites its voice with that of the citizens calling for justice,” Doukas said. “Mere apologies are insufficient,” he said.

The news site Efsyn wrote of the erasure of the names that, “The hilarious tragedy that ensued as to who gave the order proves that, apart from a total lack of empathy, the Parliament behaved in a petty way: is it enough to simply erase the red paint with the 57 names when they have been engraved in blood red in our collective memory?”

It added that, “Those who think that this tragedy will be put in a museum and forgotten are deluded. It has scarred a whole generation that, although it has been abused in many ways, has already shown resilience, strength, courage and is claiming its due in equal measure. This new generation, which yesterday painted the city red again, is our hope and our strength.”


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