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Politics

Government Announces Package of Measures for Survivors and Families of Deceased at Tempi Train Collision

ATHENS – Pension and tax benefits, the cancellation of bank debts, and posting in public administration jobs are some of eleven measures announced by the government on Friday on behalf of families that lost relatives in the train collision at Tempi, central Greece, on Friday, and those who were severely injured for life.

“Human life is beyond price. The least the state is bound by duty to do, under such circumstances, is to relieve and support the relatives of the victims and the injured with humility and respect,” an announcement said.

The measures include the following:

1) Families who lost one relative or more, and those who acquired a permanent disability of over 50%, because of the accident will get a special pension. The pension – provided to each victim – is four times the national pension amount, adjusted annually, for every month starting retroactively from March 1. It will be untaxed and unrelated to any other income or pensions. Beneficiaries include a spouse and children, or parents if there is no spouse.

2) All individual debts of parents, spouses, officially recognized partners, children, and siblings of those who died at the accident or those who became over 50% disabled that are outstanding by March 31, 2023 to tax services and insurance funds are cancelled. Beneficiaries also include those who were hospitalized in intensive care units (ICUs) after the accident.

3) All housing or personal loans outstanding to banks and fund managers of families who lost relatives are cancelled, following the banks’ and fund managers’ initiative.

4) Relatives who inherit from the deceased in the train accident at Tempi are excluded from paying inheritance tax.

5) Relatives of families that lost a member in the accident have a right to claim a position in the civil service, up to a second degree of kinship. This benefit is also extended to people who have been hospitalized in ICUs and/or those who acquired over 50% disability due to the accident. If their posting is not possible for health reasons, the right may be claimed by a spouse or parent, or one of the beneficiary’s parents or a sibling.

6) Legislation will be pushed through for the reimbursements, while free legal help will be provided to victims and their relatives, if they so wish.

7) All passengers who are college students, including those who are children, spouses, partners, siblings or parents of passengers who died or were disabled by over 50%, have a right to transfer during the current academic year to a corresponding department in another state university in Greece.

8) All college students mentioned above will get prioritized for student housing at their univeristies, and will receive free meals during their entire degree studies.

9) In the national high school boards leading to university admission held in the years 2023, 2024, and 2025, regulations will be applied that will add points to those sitting for the exams, whether tested for the first time or not, if they were passengers or chilldren, spouses, partners, siblings, and parents of those who died or if they have been permanently disabled by over 50%.

10) The National Health Service will fully cover hospitalization and rehabilitation costs in materials and services, in all public and private hospitals, for those who need services, as well as all expenses for rehabilitation services abroad.

11) Free and individualized psychological support will be provided to families of the deceased, the injured, and passengers in general, either in person or at home, through the National Health Service network, and by phone through the free phone line 10306, selection 3.

The government announced that the above-mentioned actions are supported by the Ministries of Finance, Education & Religions, Labor & Social Affairs, Health, Justice, and Interior.

To facilitate the speedy access of assistance to families of those who died, were injured, or were passengers, a special facility and support telephone line will be set up. These two will also help beneficiaries with any transactions with public services.

“In the case of surviving passengers who purchased tickets without providing personal information and left the site of the accident without providing contact information to state services, they are requested to contact the help line, in order to make use of their rights,” the announcement concluded.

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