Greek’s Deadliest Train Crash: Workers Walk Off Job
Thousands of Greek workers walked off the job on Thursday and rallied in central Athens in protest at neglected safety standards they say led to the deadliest train crash in the country’s history.
“Flights to and from Greece were grounded, ships remained docked at ports, and public services and state schools were closed” as workers joined the 24-hour strike called by Greece’s largest labour unions, GSEE and ADEDY.
The walkout is the latest in a series of protests since the head-on collision last month of a passenger train carrying more than 350 people, most of them university students, with a freight train near the city of Larissa in the central Greek region of Tempi. The crash killed 57.
Protesters accuse the conservative government and the country’s political system of ignoring repeated calls by unions over deficient safety measures.
“It was not human error, it was crime,” read a banner held by protesters rallying outside parliament in Athens. “Our dead, your profits,” read another one.
Clashes broke out when a group of protesters broke off the rally and hurled petrol bombs at police officers who responded with teargas.
More than 25,000 people rallied in central Athens, according to police estimates, and protests were also held in other Greek cities.
Last week, tens of thousands rallied in the capital and other cities in the largest street demonstrations the government has faced since being elected in 2019.
The train crash has stirred public outrage against consecutive governments over the last decade that have delayed a plan to install safety systems across the country’s 2,500-km, 1,550-mile, rail network.