Strikes halt trains, ferries in Greece


Widespread strikes in Greece halted trains and ferries on Feb. 28 in protests timed to coincide with the anniversary of a deadly rail crash a year ago.

Greece’s deadliest rail disaster killed 57 people when a passenger train slammed into an oncoming cargo train in the north. The tragedy shocked the country, with many of the victims being university students.

Public transport services in Athens were disrupted by yesterday’s strike as unions pressed demands to further dismantle wage controls imposed during the 2010-2018 financial crisis.

Farmers and university students have also staged anti-government protests in recent weeks.

Flights were unaffected by the strikes after a court declared that protest plans by air traffic controllers were illegal. Relatives of the rail disaster victims gathered yesterday at the scene of the crash for a memorial service as church bells across the country were rung 57 times to honor the dead.

“This is a pain that will never end, a wound that will never heal,” said Panos Routsi, whose 22-year-old son, Denis, was killed.

He said he supports a petition that has gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures to strip parliamentary immunity from lawmakers who were responsible for rail safety when the crash occurred.

“What I want is for them all to be [punished], all those responsible wherever they are hiding, hiding behind immunity,” he said.__Daily Hurriyet