Friday, March 3, 6.00pm. Today the NY Times slammed the Greek authorities (link here): “Greece’s rail system consistently ranks among the continent’s most dangerous despite receiving $700 million in modernization money from the European Union over the past decade. And the installation of the new safety system became so bogged down that a senior government official quit last year to protest what he called “unjustifiable delays.”
Greece declared National Mourning for three days.
The collapse of the whole political system is upon us… Almost 50 years since 1974, where the political mafia-like families (Mitsotakis, Karamanlis, Papandreou) devastated the country, led it to bankruptcy, with fatal results in all sectors such as the rail “accident”. Reuters reports: Greece train crash: victims’ families grieve as protests grow.
The Hellenic American National Council (HANC) issued an announcement that says it all HANC – ACCIDENT ANNOUNCEMENT) – here in English: The Hellenic American National Council expresses its most profound sorrow for the train accident in Tempi, Greece, with dozens of dead, missing, and even more injured. The suffering of all of us is unspeakable as we share the pain of the relatives of the victims and the entire Greek nation. At the same time, we express our indignation at the fatal omissions of multiple officials responsible for the maintenance and modernization of railway infrastructure. The fragile clientelist political system of Greece was laid bare. May this terrible accident be an occasion for the fundamental restructuring of the Greek state based on rationality and meritocracy.
Wednesday, March 1, 6.00 pm: It became known that just two weeks ago, on February 15, The European Commission had decided to refer GREECE to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failure to comply with rules on railway transport (EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESS RELEASE)!! Amazing!!
Also, it was known that the Station Chief in Larissa gave the wrong signal to the passenger train on its way north (link here).
EDITOR’S NOTE: Images of devastation have come out of Greece as rescuers try to save people from a nightmarish train crash in Central Greece in Tempe, near Larissa. This area is known for a notoriously narrow passage in a valley at the foothills of Olympus mountain and there is only a single rail line for a few miles. Because the passage’s difficulty in the area is well known even to schoolchildren in Greece, any mistake or mishandling in the area is absolutely inexcusable… But state bureaucracy in Greece is even more notorious for its corruption – and the deals they made to sell Greek Trains to the Italians a few years ago have had very negative results, detailed in a series of emails from the workers’ unions to the Ministry of Transportation…
Two trains have collided in northern Greece, killing at least 36 people and injuring more than 60 others.
The crash happened late Tuesday night near the city of Larissa, when a passenger train carrying hundreds of passengers hit a freight train travelling in the opposite direction.
Pictures have been coming in which show the extent of the devastation.
They described tragic scenes as they raced to find survivors.
“We are pulling out people alive, injured… there are dead,” one volunteer rescue worker told state TV. “We are living through a tragedy.”
It is not yet clear what caused the crash.
Station master arrested after dozens killed in Greece train crash