Thousands of Greek workers left workplaces to gather in the center of Athens to protest following the deadliest train calamity in the country’s history. The catastrophe killed 57 people, mostly young students, and is believed to have been caused by neglected safety standards by the Italian-owned train carrier.
The 24-hour strike grounded planes, halting ships and public services. The strike action was declared by the country’s largest labor unions, GSEE and ADEDY.
General #strike in #Greece. Thousands protest the #GreeceTrainCrash. pic.twitter.com/TC4hGTA2K5
— Savvas Karmaniolas (@savvaskarma) March 16, 2023
Just as with the case of the recent U.S. Ohio train accident that caused chemical pollution, those protesting are accusing the authorities of ignoring repeated calls by unions over violations of safety measures.
Some 25,000 protesters took to the streets in Athens, according to police estimates. Protests also had place in other Greek cities.
New huge general strike#greecetraincrash #Απεργια16Μαρτη #Απεργια #απεργια_Τεμπη #Greece #Greecetrain #hellenic_train #GreeceTrainAccident pic.twitter.com/lJeb1GgH7b
— PAME Greece International (@PAME_Greece) March 16, 2023
The protests began last week as thousands of Greeks rallied in the country’s capital making it the largest street demonstration the government has had to face since 2019.
The train crash has led to public outrage against previous governments, who ruled the country during the debt crisis decade and had felt coerced into to delay the plan to provide new safety systems along the country’s 2,500 km railway infrastructure.