Peaceful rally over train accident turns violent in Greek capital

Police respond with pepper bombs at protesters who throw petrol bombs, stones

Ahmet Gencturk  | 05.03.2023 - Update : 06.03.2023
Peaceful rally over train accident turns violent in Greek capital


A peaceful rally in Athens over a train accident that left at least 57 people dead earlier this week has turned violent.

The rally which was called by three unions representing railway workers in the country and participated by major trade union PAME, former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis’ political party MeRA25, as well as other groups and leftist parties, brought together thousands of people in the central Syntagma Square.

During the peaceful phase of the rally, the crowd shouted slogans and carried banners condemning the governments and their economy policies which they said caused the tragic accident.

A group, mostly comprising youngsters in black dresses and hoodies, later started to throw big stones that they tore apart from pavements nearby, and petrol bombs at police and streets.

A bus and a heavy construction vehicle, as well as many trash containers, were partly or heavily damaged by the petrol bombs.

When the police forces swiftly responded with pepper bombs, the group ran away and got loose in the narrow streets around.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, on Facebook, said: “As prime minister, I owe everyone, but above all, the relatives of the victims, a big sorry.”

“Both personally, and in the name of all those who ruled the country for years,” he added.

Last week on Tuesday night, a passenger train collided with a freight train around the town of Tempi in the northern Larissa province.

The official death toll stands at 57, including many university students and nine train crew.

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