World News

Strikes, protests, and clashes over lethal Greek rail crash

Clashes broke out in Athens Thursday throughout a basic strike in Greece that was referred to as in response to a rail catastrophe final month.

Protesters hurled gasoline bombs at a police cordon close to parliament. Riot police responded with tear gasoline and sound grenades, in the course of the transient flare-up of violence that disrupted giant, peaceable demonstrations. There have been no fast stories of accidents or arrests.

The strike grounded flights and extensively disrupted companies, whereas giant protests have been additionally held in different cities throughout the nation. Clashes between youths and police additionally erupted within the southern port metropolis of Patras.

The strike additionally saved ferries to the Greek islands at port, left public hospitals working with emergency workers, halted public transport companies and led to class cancelations at state-run faculties.

Unions have rallied behind railway staff’ associations which have staged rolling walkouts for the reason that head-on practice collision in northern Greece on Feb. 28 that left 57 individuals lifeless and dozens injured.

“This authorities has had 4 years to repair issues with the rail community, however as a substitute of proudly owning as much as that accountability, they’re blaming everybody else,” Popi Tsapanidou, a spokeswoman for major leftist opposition get together Syriza, advised personal Skai tv.


Riot polices take their positions next of flames of cocktail molotov after throwing of protestors during a 24-hours general strike in central Athens, on March 16, 2023.

Riot polices take their positions subsequent of flames of cocktail molotov after throwing of protestors throughout a 24-hours basic strike in central Athens, on March 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Michael Varaklas)

The major protests have been held in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest metropolis, and within the capital Athens, the place hundreds chanted “this crime is not going to be forgotten” as they reached a police cordon exterior a non-public rail operator.

Stores and banks lowered their shutters when the protesters filed previous because the capital was dropped at a standstill. All kinds of labor associations — from these representing attorneys to supply drivers — joined the strike.

The authorities, which faces a parliamentary election earlier than the summer time, says rail companies will restart on March 22 and be restored step by step by April 11, with extra workers to watch security and obligatory pace discount guidelines alongside sections of the observe.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ center-right authorities has seen a robust lead in opinion polls lowered in current weeks over its major rival, Syriza, with the 2 sides additionally locked in an ideological debate over how one can reform Greece’s antiquated rail community.

Mitsotakis has promised clearer boundaries between privatized companies and the authorities overseeing them, in search of help from European Union consultants in drawing up the adjustments. His political opponents argue that the poorly managed dismantling of businesses beneath state management has finally compromised rail security.

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