Strike halts all Greek trains in protest over fatal crash

AFP , Thursday 2 Mar 2023

Striking rail workers paralysed Greece's train services on Thursday in protest at government management of the network, saying it contributed to the fatal collision that killed at least 47.

Police and emergency crews examine the debris of a crushed wagon on the second day after a train accident in the Tempi Valley near Larissa, Greece, March 2, 2023. AFP


Announcing the 24-hour shutdown, the rail union federation denounced a "lack of respect towards Greece's rail network by successive governments over the years, which led to this tragic result".

"Unfortunately, our constant requests for more permanent staff, improved training and, above all, the introduction of modern safety technology, were all just ditched," the rail federation said.

The collision of a freight train with a passenger train carrying over 350 people is Greece's worst rail disaster ever.

It has sparked angry protests alleging government negligence in overseeing the rail network.

Athens metro employees also walked off the job on Thursday for a strike that will last until midnight (2200 GMT), saying the system suffered from "similar problems" to those of the overland rail network.

"For years our union has complained of massive shortages of equipment and replacement parts, and a huge shortage of staff... which forces workers to do long and exhausting days," it said.

In 2017, Greek state rail operator Trainose was acquired by the Italian public company Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiane (FS) and renamed Hellenic Train -- part of a sweeping privatisation programme mandated by Greece's creditors during the country's decade-long debt crisis.

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