24-hour Strike in Greece

A 24-hour strike across Greece on Wednesday 28th February 2024 marks the first anniversary of the nation's worst rail tragedy at Tempe, as workers demand answers for the accident and punishment for those responsible.  A year after the tragic railway disaster that claimed the lives of 57 people in Central Greece, many questions still remain unanswered.  A memorial service was held on Sunday, and the victims relatives plan to gather at the crash site on Wednesday morning, where all the parishes of the Larissa metropolis will ring 57 mourning bells as a sign of honour and respect for the memory of the accident victims.  The civil servants' union ADEDY said  "One year on, we are back on the streets to shout that we do not forget . . . those responsible have still not answered for their criminal acts".

To date, not one official has taken responsibility for the accident, not one apology has been heard from officials of the State or from Hellenic Train.  Today's strikers include taxi drivers (who started their strike on Tuesday) ferry workers, air-traffic controllers, school teachers and hospital workers, bank employees, public transport workers from the train, metro and tram services, who are also protesting at the present high cost of living.  In Athens, buses and trolleys will be the only transport running from 09:00 to 21:00. 


Tens of thousands of men, women, teenagers and students took to the streets in Athens, Thessaloniki and other parts of Greece on Wednesday to mark the first anniversary and protest what is perceived as a systematic attempt to obscure the circumstances of the tragedy and cover up responsibilities.  Among the crowd gathered in front of Parliament at Athens Syntagma Square, were relatives of the victims, who were there to thank all the people who came to commemorate their children.  Thousands of demonstrators also gathered outside the Athens headquarters of the country's rail operator, Hellenic Train, to make their feelings heard loud and clear.  

The Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in a televised address on Wednesday, promised to heal the state's chronic shortcomings  "As a government and political system, we must acknowledge the collective failure behind this tragedy.  As a prime minister, as a citizen and as a father, I share the country's grief.  Our mission is to turn the pain into action.  Some relief will come when all the causes of the evil are brought to light.  When all doubts are dispelled.  When even the most absurd rumours are disproved.  And, above all, when the guilty are punished.  And that will happen". 

Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou said  "One year later, the tragedy of Tempe continues to pain and anger our society.  The grief remains unabated and questions remain unsnswered.  Our thoughts are with the families of the victims, the injured, and the passengers who endured the horror of that night.  Words cannot mend the wound.  It is the responsibility of the state to allocate accountability and ensure that our nation never again suffers such a blow to the safety and trust of its citizens".