x

Society

Thousands Τake Part in New Greece Protest Over Train Crash

ATHENS, Greece — Thousands of people protested on Sunday against safety deficiencies in Greece’s railway network nearly two weeks after dozens were killed in the country’s deadliest train crash.

The demonstrators also demanded punishment for those responsible for the head-on collision between a passenger train and a freight train that killed 57 people Feb. 28. Police said that more than 8,000 people in Athens gathered outside Parliament to protest on Sunday.

The protesters later marched to the offices of privatized train operator Hellenic Train. The company, which has been owned by Italy’s Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane since 2017, isn’t responsible for the maintenance of the railway network. State-owned Hellenic Railways is in charge of upkeep.

Authorities shut down four subway stations on two lines running through central Athens because of the protest.

The rally was organized by civil servants, a pro-communist union and university students.

In Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, about 5,000 people demonstrated, listened to speeches and shouted slogans, such as “we will be the voice for all the dead.”

Protesters take part in a rally following a train collision in central Greece, in front of the parliament, in Athens, Sunday, March 12, 2023. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

Sunday’s rallies, which passed off without serious incident, weren’t as well-attended as similar events earlier in the week, when more than 30,000 had turned out in Athens and more than 20,000 in Thessaloniki. Police said four people were detained in Athens.

A memorial service was conducted for 12 students of Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University, Greece’s largest, who were killed in the train crash.

An inexperienced stationmaster accused of placing the trains on the same track has been charged with negligent homicide and other offenses, and the country’s transportation minister and senior railway officials resigned the day after the crash.

Revelations of serious safety gaps on Greece’s busiest rail line have put the center-right government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on the defensive. He has pledged the government’s full cooperation with a judicial inquiry into the crash.

Elections are due later this spring and opinion polls released over the past week have shown the ruling conservatives’ lead over the left-wing opposition shrink almost by half compared with polls published before the crash.

Protesters take part in a rally following a train collision in central Greece, in front of the parliament, in Athens, Sunday, March 12, 2023. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

RELATED

ATHENS - The politically volatile European Parliament elections, a time during which no candidate wants to make waves, has led to Greece temporarily setting aside development of wind farm projects that had been viewed as essential to developing sustainable sources.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

If an uninformed person had attended the Mitsotakis-Erdogan press conference a few days ago in Ankara, s/he could have come to the conclusion that the meeting was planned in order to discuss whether Hamas is a terrorist or a patriotic organization.

As part of a club documentary offering an inside view of his final days at Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp was asked by the filmmakers to stand alone on The Kop one afternoon and gaze out around Anfield.

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — In 2018, Chad McGehee opened Side Hustle Brews and Spirits, an Abu Dhabi-branded brewery and distillery with funky camels on its cans and playful names familiar to anyone living in the United Arab Emirates.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Israel strongly denied charges of genocide on Friday, telling the United Nations’ top court it was doing everything it could to protect the civilian population during its military operation in Gaza.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.