Athens, Mar 8 (EFE).- Public sector workers in Greece went on strike on Wednesday in response to the deadly train collision that killed 57 people last week.
The strike was called by the Greek civil servants’ confederation (ADEDY) and has been backed by maritime and public transport workers, doctors, teachers and actors.
Railway workers were striking for the eighth day in a row to demand the modernization of Greece’s railway system, which has been underfunded for years.
In Athens, metro services, buses, trolleybuses and trams all ground to a halt, while no boats or ferries were operating in the nearby port of Piraeus.
Strikes are taking place in 76 Greek cities, including a large march in the capital.
Students have also occupied dozens of universities across the country to demand justice for the victims of the accident, with many accusing the conservative government of neglecting the nation’s railway network.
Protesters hung giant banners with the words: “We will overthrow you” and “Assassins” on the facade of the Rectorate of the University of Athens.
In a statement published by ADEDY on Tuesday, Greek unions called on the government to end “privatization policies” in the railway sector and for “the real responsibilities for the murderous crime of the Tempi train crash be attributed” to the people who allowed the collision to happen.
The accident occurred on February 28 in Tempi when a northbound passenger train carrying 350 people and a southbound freight train collided while traveling in opposite directions on the same track on the Athens-Thessaloniki line.
The station master in Larissa, charged with multiple counts of negligent manslaughter, has admitted to putting the trains on the same track.
Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis apologized on Sunday and acknowledged that a lack of safety measures and automated control systems on the rail network contributed to the accident.
Greece’s worst-ever rail disaster has unleashed a wave of public indignation just a few weeks ahead of April’s general elections, although some local media are reporting the government could postpone the ballot to May. EFE