The Greek Prime Minister asks for forgiveness from the victims of the train disaster, and 12,000 angry Greeks protest in front of Parliament

As Prime Minister, I owe it to everyone, and in particular to the families of the victims, to ask for forgiveness. I do this personally, but also on behalf of all those who have ruled the country for years,” Mitsotakis wrote on Facebook.

The Prime Minister then emphasized that “in Greece in 2023, it should not be possible for two trains to go in opposite directions on the same track and not be noticed”. “We cannot hide behind human error. The fact that the digital control system will only be fully operational in a few months makes my pain even greater.”

“In the coming days, the minister in charge will announce measures to improve railway safety immediately. Now it is our duty to stand by the families and the victims and bravely acknowledge the wrongdoings of the state,” Mitsotakis continued. “I will immediately ask the European Commission and friendly countries for help in terms of experience, so that we finally have modern trains.”

A protest stand in front of Parliament

In the Greek capital, Athens, about 7,500 people gathered in front of Parliament. They are furious after last week’s fatal train disaster which was blamed on human error and negligence on the rail network. The demonstrators carried banners reading “Down with the murderous governments.” The protest came after a call from students, railway workers and public sector employees. They released hundreds of black balloons in front of Parliament in memory of the 57 victims.

“We are very angry. The motive for profit and the absence of measures to protect passengers led to the worst train disaster in our country,” said Michalis Hasiotis, a trade unionist who joined the parade.

A number of demonstrators set rubbish bins on fire and threw Molotov cocktails. The police responded with tear gas. Subsequently, Syntagma Square, where the demonstration took place, was evacuated.

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Denton Watson

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