Molotov cocktails were thrown in the centre of Athens as thousands of people are striking for the second time in as many weeks to demand justice for the death of 57 people in the train collision on February 28.
Demonstrators vowed that they will not allow a cover-up of the worst rail accident in Greek history. They blame the Greek government for the lack of safety measures in the railway system and call the accident as a crime waiting to happen.
Hooded men took advantage of the strike to throw Molotov cocktails and other objects at police officers shortly after 1:30PM local time.
After the attack, police officers used tear gas to repel the violent youths.
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The incidents initially started on the lower side of Syntagma Square but quickly spread to the upper side of the square, in front of the Parliament.
The rally at Syntagma square coincides with a new nationwide strike organised by the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE), the Civil Servants’ Confederation (ADEDY), and the Panhellenic Maritime Federation (PNO).
“The crime at Tempi will not be covered up. We claim the life that we deserve, a life with contemporary rights, a better future for us and our children,” notes the Civil Servants’ Confederation.
“For all the workers in Greece, investigating the affair in depth and assigning blame to those responsible, as well as the implementation of measures to not mourn any other lives, is a central issue for society and is at the epicenter of our strike,” stated the General Confederation of Greek Workers.
Strike over train disaster brings Greece to a halt
Greece’s air traffic controllers announced that they will join the 24-hour strike on Thursday. As a result, many flights are canceled.
Metro lines 1 (ISAP), 2 (red line) and 3 (blue line) and tram-trains will only run from 10:00 until 15:00, to facilitate the transportation of people attending rallies in central Athens.
Buses will hold work stoppages from the start of the shift until 09:00 and from 21:00 until the end of the shift, the OASA staff union announced on Tuesday. They will run normally between 09:00 and 21:00, leaving their depots at 8:30 in the morning.
Trolley buses in Athens will run from 09:00 until 21:00 on Thursday, as announced the ILPAP-OSY Workers Union on Tuesday. The bus routes operated by KTEL intercity coaches will run as normal.
Only 50 buses, operated by skeleton staff, will run in Thessaloniki on Thursday, while the Airport (N1) night line and the special service for the disabled will operate as normal, said the Urban Transport Organisation of Thessaloniki (OASTH).
Panhellenic Federation of Railway Workers will also participate in the strike, they said, although national railway services have been paused since March 1, following the Tempi rail accident.
Public anger in Greece grows
Public anger over the rail accident is growing in Greece.
Last week, hundreds of thousands of protestors gathered across major cities and communities in Greece to call for answers and justice in the wake of the train disaster that has plunged the country into sorrow and anger.
Aegean Airlines, Olympic Air cancel all flights
Air carriers Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air cancelled all their domestic and international flights scheduled on Thursday (March 16), due to the participation of the Greek Air Traffic Controllers Association (GATCA) in ADEDY's 24-hour nationwide strike, they said on Tuesday.
Passengers can book alternative dates on www.aegeanair.com and www.olympicair.com, or call Aegean on 801-1120000 (from a landline), 210-6261000 (from a mobile phone), and Olympic Air on 801-801-0101 (from a landline) and 210-3550500 (from a mobile phone).
Ships to stay docked
Ships will stay docked in Greece from 01:01 am on Thursday, March 16, through 24:00 am on the same day, March 16, the Panhellenic Seamen's Federation (PNO) announced.
READ MORE: Hellenic Train to compensate families of train collision victims, injured passengers.