After the train disaster, Greece will go to the polls in May

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After the train disaster, Greece will go to the polls in May

The train disaster, which killed 57 people, sparked a large-scale protest movement.

Three weeks after the train disaster in Greece, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced on Tuesday that elections would be held in May as his government is weakened by an accident that revealed a longer-lasting anger among Greeks towards their leaders.

I can tell you with certainty that the elections will take place in May, the leader of the conservative New Democracy (ND) party affirmed in his first television interview since the head-on collision between two trains which left 57 dead on the evening of February 28.

He did not specify the exact date of this legislative election which was to be held by July, at the end of the current mandate of his government.

But it paved the way for another ballot in the process if the first does not achieve an absolute majority or if the parties with the best scores fail to form a coalition.

A second vote may be necessary. It is very likely, he said on the private channel Alpha, three weeks to the day after this train accident, the worst that Greece has experienced.

The conservative, in power since 2019, has been under pressure since this disaster which upset the country and brought tens of thousands of angry Greeks to the streets.

Because if the x27; accident was attributed to an error by the station master, it also revealed serious malfunctions in the Greek railways, the dilapidated state of the network and the flagrant delays in modernizing it, particularly with regard to safety and the signage.

The Prime Minister has also been strongly criticized for his management of this accident, considered calamitous, in particular when he assured from the outset that it was due to tragic human error.

Since then, he has worked to rectify the situation by repeatedly asking forgiveness from the families of the victims or promising absolute transparency in the ongoing judicial investigation to establish responsibilities.< /p>

But in the processions which chant “murderers” and demand accountability from the authorities accused of negligence or even negligence, calls for the resignation of Kyriakos Mitsotakis are increasing.

The 8th March, at the peak of the mobilization, they were at least 65,000 in the streets shouting their fed up, including 40,000 in the capital.

After work stoppages in several sectors, Greece experienced an almost general strike on March 16 with an almost complete paralysis of transport.

The processions, by their magnitude, are reminiscent of the major demonstrations in the early 2010s when Greece, shaken by the financial crisis, had drastic economy measures imposed on it by its creditors, the ;European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Protests after the tragedy in Tempé are comparable to those of 2011, judges the Public Issue institute in a recent analysis.< /p>

Many Greeks are alarmed by the decay of public services in a country which, in order to pay off its debts, had to privatize entire sections of its public sector, including passenger and freight rail transport sold in 2017 to the company Italian public Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiane (FS).

The latest polls taken after the accident show that the gap is closing in the voting intentions between New Democracy and the radical left Syriza led by Alexis Tsipras, predecessor of Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

With between 28.5% and 30.2% of voting intentions, the ND is only ahead of its main rival by 3.5 to 4.1 points, depending on the institutes.

< p class="e-p">Young people, especially students, find themselves at the top of the discontent while media and analysts believe that they have often been sacrificed over the past ten years.

The daily Kathimerini recently spoke about the bankrupt and pandemic generation about the under 25s also hit by unemployment.

During his mandate, Kyriakos Mitsotakis was also singled out for attacks on freedoms, particularly of the press.

He is also at the heart of a phone tapping scandal that i has touched hundreds of personalities, including the leader of the socialist party Pasok-Kinal.

Athens has always denied having used the Israeli spyware Predator.

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