Greece train disaster: police chief sacked

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Greece train disaster: police chief sacked

Protesters flee tear gas fired by Greek riot police as clashes erupt in a 24-hour strike in Athens on March 16, 2023.

Greece's police chief has been sacked, the government announced on Saturday, after clashes between law enforcement and protesters have escalated since the February 28 train crash, the deadliest in the country. x27;country history.

Constantinos Skoumas has been removed from office, according to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' office, less than two months after being confirmed in the post.

The sacking comes as police have been criticized for their handling of protests that erupted after two trains collided near Larissa that left 57 people dead.

We will learn from our mistakes, Mitsotakis said on Saturday while on a campaign trip to Athens. An error only becomes a fault if it is repeated.

The appointment of a new police chief is aimed at more effective implementation of the operational plans of a modern police with regard to the security of citizens, the Prime Minister's Office clarified.

During the latest protest on Thursday, a riot police team was filmed charging and beating peaceful protesters in Syntagma Square, central Athens .

A few hours later, a police tow truck rammed into a group of protesters trying to block a street in the capital with trash cans, knocking one to the ground.

After a train derailment that killed 57, tensions mount between the government and protesters, who point the shortcomings of the Greek rail system and the crisis situation in which the country finds itself.

The rail disaster sparked weeks of protests, some violent, which put pressure on the Conservative government of Mr. Mitsotakis ahead of elections scheduled for May.

The transport minister had resigned after the disaster. The station master on duty at the time of the accident and three other railway officials have been charged and face life imprisonment.

The unions had long since put in warning about the failings of Greece's railways, describing an underfunded, understaffed and accident-prone network after a decade of spending cuts.

Transport Minister by Interim Georgios Gerapetritis said train services, suspended after the accident, would gradually resume from March 22 to be fully restored by April 16. Automated security systems will be installed by the end of September, he added.

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