Hellenic Train, the private company that operates the railways of greecewill indemnify each family of the 57 fatalities in the train accident on February 28 with an “advance payment” of 42,000 euros. The announcement comes during a day on Thursday in which Greece has woken up paralyzed by a general strike of 24 hours where the citizens want to express their discontent about the management of the catastrophe.
In addition, Hellenic Train has also communicated that the compensation for the passengers who survived will range between 5,000 and 10,000 euros depending on the injuries caused by the accident and the length of their hospitalization.
Despite this, Hellenic Train, controlled by the Italian railways, qualifies that the compensation “does not constitute in any way a acceptance of responsibility by the company”, in accordance with the provisions of the community regulation.
[Los sindicatos griegos convocan una huelga general por el accidente de tren que causó 57 muertos]
The operator attributes what happened to “human error”, a speech that the president Kyriakos Mitsotakis embraced in the days after the accident but which he has already given up. Recently, Mitsotakis recognized that the specific section did not have security systems that they could have prevented the tragedyfor which he rectified to apologize and acknowledge his political responsibility.
The Greek government, for its part, already announced last week that it will compensate each family that has lost a loved one in the accident with a monthly pension of 1,600 euros and the elimination of their debts before the State.
Italian state company Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane operates Hellenic Trainalthough the country’s railway infrastructure, including security systems, depends on the state company OSE.
A day after the accident there were already several demonstrations, with altercations with the police, where the Government was blamed for the privatization of the railway service. Two weeks later, the general malaise has worsened and this Thursday Greece will hold a 24-hour general strike whose main demand is to demand that find the “real culprits” of the accident.
The strike has been called by the private and public sector unions, GSEE and ADEDY, and will be accompanied by demonstrations throughout the country. Air traffic controllers and sailors have also joined, so a good part of today’s flights have been canceled, while the ships remain moored in ports.
Athens has woken up paralyzed no public transportalthough some minimum metro services will be provided to facilitate the movement of citizens who want to attend the mobilizations.
Many schools remain closed since the teachers’ unions have also joined the strike, as have the railway workers, who last Friday concluded a 10 day strike.
Tens of thousands of people are expected to demonstrate again across Greece to demand justice for the biggest rail tragedy in the country’s history, in a new massive protest like those that have been happening since the accident.
ADEDY has stated in a statement that officials demand “that the crime in Tempe” not be covered up, a town near where the accident occurred. They also require “that stop privatization policies“, which they blame for the current state of deterioration of the railway.