Following the train tragedy in Greece, thousands of protesters demanded transportation system investment.
In Greece, tens of thousands of people have participated in demonstrations and strikes in response to last week’s train accident that claimed 57 lives.
A group of protesters in Athens, some of whom launched gasoline bombs, were subjected to tear gas use by riot police.
Thessaloniki police also got involved in protests there.
Following the head-on accident between a passenger train and a freight train on February 28, the government has been charged with poor management.
One demonstrator in Athens told AFP on Wednesday, “I am here to pay honor to the fallen but also to voice my rage and my displeasure. “This administration needs to go.”
Another person who spoke to Reuters said, “You feel upset since the government did nothing for all of those youngsters,” referring to the 350 passengers, many of whom were students.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who is facing re-election this year, has come under rising demand to resign following the country’s bloodiest rail catastrophe on record.
He and his government have come under fire for attempting to pin the cause of the collision on the station master, who is facing manslaughter charges.
Riot police at an Athens protest
SOURCE OF IMAGE: REUTERS
Riot police and some demonstrators battled in Athens, image caption
Some of the workers on strike on Wednesday were doctors, teachers, bus drivers, and ferry crew members.
They joined the rolling protests being held by rail workers in response to the accident.
According to train drivers, they informed the authorities of the persistent issues with the technological devices meant to alert them to impending danger.
“We drivers have filed complaints about these things, we have gone on strike about it… but regrettably no one listened to us,” the leader of the Greek train drivers union, Kostas Genidounias, has remarked.
“They told us we were lying, we were slanderous, we had other interests, in the end it showed that the workers were correct and regrettably we experienced this disaster.”
The country’s “chronically ailing train transport system,” in the words of Greece’s new transport minister, George Gerapetritis, who was appointed after his predecessor resigned following the catastrophe, will be fixed, he has pledged. He pledged that no train would depart again unless “safety at the highest possible level” was met.
He added that even with an electronic system, “accidents will happen” and that human error, which the government has mostly blamed for the tragedy, will happen.
In Thessaloniki, where the train had been travelling to when it crashed, police shot tear gas at several persons throwing stones outside the local railway station.
One student remarked, “That might have been any one of us. “It seems like we rely on luck more and more in this country these days.
Without a question, things need to change, and what has occurred outrages me.”