The Greek minister responsible for the railway network Kostas Karamanlis resigned on Wednesday, following the fatal train disaster at Tempi.
In his statement, Karamanlis, who was Infrastructure & Transport Minister, said “I feel it is my duty [to step down], and a minimal gesture of respect to the memory of the people who perished so unfairly, and to take responsibility for the long-standing errors of the Greek state and the political system.”
“It is a fact that we inherited the Greek railway [from the previous government] in a condition incompatible with 21st century standards,” he added, and continued to say that “in these 3.5 years, we made every effort to improve this reality. Unfortunately, these efforts were not enough to prevent such an accident, and this is very heavy for all of us, and for me personally.”
Karamanlis announced his resignation after returning from his visit to the site of the train accident at Tempi, where he seemed to be distraught by what he saw.
In his statement of resignation, he added that “the pain cannot be worded sufficiently.”
“When something so tragic happens, it is not possible to carry on as if it didn’t happen. I have only been in politics for a few years, but I consider it a necessary element of our democracy that the citizens of our country trust the political system. This is called political responsibility,” he noted.