The families of 57 people killed in a February 28 train crash in Greece filed a lawsuit against Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and others on Tuesday ahead of Sunday’s general election.
“Today is an important day, more important than Sunday’s (…) elections. This complaint concerns 16 people,” said Christos Konstantinidis, a representative of the group of relatives, before the court in Larissa, where the attack took place. Tragedy, in the heart of the country.
The list of defendants is headed by the head of government and includes ministers and former ministers of transport, said the representative, whose wife died in the collision.
“With this detailed complaint, all those responsible (…) must be brought to justice,” he said.
The list published on the Internet actually includes 17 people, including managers of the public company OSE, in charge of the railway network, and the private group Hellenic Trains, which specialized in transporting people.
“I am sorry that the matter was blown up a few days before the elections,” the prime minister said in an interview with private channel Ant1 on Tuesday.
A head-on collision between a freight train and a passenger train, which had traveled on the same track for several kilometres, exposed serious deficiencies in the country’s rail network and delays in modernizing safety systems.
The passenger train was heading from Athens to the country’s second largest city, Thessaloniki. Most of the dead were students returning from the long weekend.
Prime Minister Mitsotakis initially blamed the disaster on “tragic human error”, but later apologized for failures and malfunctions in the rail network.
Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis resigned on the day of the accident.
Mitsotakis of the right-wing New Democracy (ND) party, which has been in power since 2019, wants to stay in office after next Sunday’s elections, which will be held in the shadow of the tragedy that sparked a huge wave of protests around the world.