SYRIZA: Mitsotakis promised "excellence" but instead delivered "tragic consequences"

Alexis Tsipras SYRIZA

Main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance said in an announcement on Thursday that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had failed to bring forth an "efficient state" as he had promised.

"The New Democracy deputy Mr. Yiannis Loverdos, to his credit, today admitted what everyone knows but which the government had refused to admit for so many days now: that the fateful station master was a political favour," SYRIZA said in its statement.

"Mitsotakis had promised an 'efficient state' and 'excellence' but after four years of his government what dominates is chaos, political patronage, a lack of meritocracy and the decay of infrastructure and services, with tragic consequences for society," the party announcement added.

The party announcement comes Nasos Iliopoulos, the head of strategic communication for SYRIZA, said on Wednesday that a "large part of the people, especially of the younger generations, has this sense that we are not only talking about a train collision and a tragic rail accident."

"There is a sense that the entire country has derailed," the party spokesperson added when talking to the radio station 'Sto Kokkino 105.5 FM'.

Talking about the strike action, he said that people "are demanding the self-evident, that answers be given" while adding that "respect for the victims means respect for the truth."

Iliopoulos accused the government of having "never listened to railway workers" and noted that railway staff had repeatedly warned of the problems, with official letters in 2021 and 2022 deploring the conditions they had to contend with.

In the time that intervened, he added, there had been 11 railroad accidents but the minister had declined to meet with the train drivers' unions.

The spokesperson also referred to changes planned by the government to the contract with Hellenic Train, saying that these would have shaved 600 million euros from the company's obligation to carry out investments while at the same time eliminating the government's obligation to complete the safety systems.

Iliopoulos additionally pointed to clear irregularities that led to the appointment of the station master on duty at the time of the accident, which he said was only legalised "after the fact" by a ministerial decision that changed the age requirements five days after his transfer was approved.

Listing improvements made to the rail network under the SYRIZA government, he accused the government of attempting to "diffuse the blame so that no one is at fault".

According to Iliopoulos, what was now being judged was "the politicians of the country, justice, which so easily declared the rail workers' strikes in previous years to be illegal and abusive but also the mass media that presented each public transport strike only as an inconvenience..."

READ MORE: PM Mitsotakis: We're all to blame for the train tragedy and we won't hide behind a series of human errors.

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