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Mitsotakis on Tempe Train Tragedy: The Guilty Will be Punished

Tempe tragedy
A demo in Athens called for a proper investigation into the causes of the rail disaster. File photo. Credit: AMNA

In a video message on Wednesday, marking the first anniversary of the Tempe train tragedy in Greece, which claimed the lives of 57 people, Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis promised that those found guilty will be punished.

“Some relief will come when all the causes of the evil are brought to light,” Mitsotakis said. “When all doubts are dispelled. When even the most absurd rumors are disproved. And, above all, when the guilty are punished. And that will happen.”

A definitive account of what happened and who may be at fault has not been delivered, with investigators in an official inquiry not due to finish questioning until March 8th.

Relatives have appointed their experts to the case, arguing that official investigators wasted time and overlooked vital evidence, including the intense fire that broke out after the collision with the freight train.

“Only Justice is the one that will shed light on the case, as we all want,” Mitsotakis stated.
“It is already moving quickly and to the highest degree, calling the first of those to account. I have complete confidence in Justice and I am sure it will rise to the occasion.”

“Our mission is to turn pain into action,” he added. “So that the organizations that serve the citizens operate safely, consistently, and professionally. The State should not remain a prisoner of bureaucracy, which delays critical projects. And the courts must decide in a timely manner, especially for cases that concern society.”

Τragedy of Tempe hurts and angers society

On Wednesday, President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou said that “the pain remains undiminished and the questions remain unanswered.”

She noted that it was “the state’s duty to attribute responsibility and to ensure that our country will never again experience such a blow to the citizens’ safety and trust.”

In her statement, Sakellaropoulou said: “One year later, the tragedy of Tempe hurts and angers society. The pain is undiminished and the questions remain unanswered. Our thoughts today are with the families of the victims, the injured, with the passengers who experienced the horror of that night.”

“Words can’t heal the wounds,” the President concluded. “The State must take responsibility and ensure that our country will never again experience such a blow to citizens’ safety and trust.”

Opposition raises questions about Tempe tragedy

On Wednesday, main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Stefanos Kasselakis posted a message on social media.

“Tempe, one year after,” Kasselakis wrote. “A promise to the memory of the 57 people that lost their lives. They must not and will not be forgotten. We will stand with the members of their families in their struggle for justice.”

“A year seems like a long time,” opposition PASOK-Movement of Change leader Nikos Androulakis said. “A lot happens in a year. For our society, however, the clock stopped on the fateful night of February 28, 2023.”

Androulakis stressed that “the causes of the accident, the unacceptable management of the area and the investigation, everything that followed, confirm that time has stopped in Greece. The ‘why’ and ‘how’ of this tragedy remain unanswered. The guilty and those responsible, for some, remain invisible.”

As the leader of PASOK-KINAL noted, “The reflexes of a State that normally investigates, detects, punishes and finally corrects, remain disappointing. A year is a long time to have done none of the things we are obliged to do as a State.”

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