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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsTempi Disaster: Allegations of Tampered Audio Spark Political Turmoil in Greece

Tempi Disaster: Allegations of Tampered Audio Spark Political Turmoil in Greece

Tempi train disaster, Greece
A Greek newspaper alleged that audio recordings from the night of the Tempi train disaster were edited in a way to point towards human error rather than negligence by officials. Credit: AMNA

A leading story by Greek newspaper To Vima, alleging that audio recordings related to the deadly Tempi train collision were tampered with before being leaked to the media, has triggered political developments in Greece, as opposition is preparing a no-confidence vote against the government.

The newspaper report alleges there has been manipulation of evidence through the deliberate editing of the audio conversations between the station master and train driver on the night of the crash, with the aim to claim that the fatal collision in February 2023 was caused by human error rather than by negligence at official level.

The newspaper quotes documents from the latest research conducted by the forensic labs of the Hellenic Police that confirm the editing took place in the first hours after the disaster.

Opposition reacts with non-confidence proposal

The latest cover-up allegations about the disaster triggered fast response from the opposition.

PASOK leader Nikos Androulakis called on the other opposition parties to propose a no-confidence vote against the government.

“I take on the institutional initiative and call on all parties of the democratic spectrum to rise to the occasion,” Androulakis said.

“It is infuriating that at a time when 57 people lost their lives in an unjust and tragic way, when their families were grieving and millions of Greeks were thinking that their own children could be on the fatal train, some persons had as priority to remove the conversations of the station master in question, to alter them and feed them to friendly media to boost the narrative of human error,” he added.

Main opposition leader Stefanos Kasselakis of SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance called on Prime Minister Mitsotakis to resign “so Greece can be led in an orderly manner to democratic elections.”

In a video statement posted on social media, Kasselakis also touched on the wiretapping scandal and recent leak of diaspora voter email addresses to claim that new national elections should take place under international observation and challenged the Prime Minister to respond within twenty-four hours.

Nea Aristera and the Greek Communist Party (KKE) said they will support the no-confidence vote proposed by PASOK.

Government denies editing of Tempi train disaster recordings

Government spokesperson Pavlos Marinakis expressed his surprise at how soon the opposition had reacted to the newspaper’s publication and responded that the justice system had the entire original conversations before the accident, provided through the Hellenic Police criminal unit.

“It is now becoming obvious that this antigovernment campaign based on a national tragedy and using the cynical manipulation of pain was nothing but part of an effort to destabilize Greece itself,” Marinakis said.

He claimed that the newspaper’s story had already been addressed by the Greek public broadcaster ERT as early as March 2, 2023.

“Nikos Androulakis rushed to adopt right away the propaganda of a publication with unfounded data, which was countered immediately,” the government spokesperson added.

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