08 March 2023

Greek unions stage strikes over safety following rail crash disaster

08 March 2023

Strikers have brought transport services to a standstill in a protest at the deaths of 57 people in Greece’s worst ever train disaster after it exposed major safety problems.

The strikes on Wednesday halted ferries to the islands and disrupted public transport in Athens, where thousands were expected to attend union-organised protests against the government.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who faces elections before the summer, has pledged full cooperation with a judicial inquiry into the deadly train collision on February 28.

But revelations of serious security gaps on Greece’s busiest rail line have thrown his centre-right government into turmoil.

The passenger train slammed into an oncoming freight carrier mistakenly placed on the same track, killing dozens of passengers – including many university students – in burning carriages.

At funerals held around Greece, the victims were buried in closed white caskets following a harrowing identification process.

Senior officials from a European Union railway agency are expected in Athens  as part of promised assistance to help Greece improve network safety.

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