Greek Parliament Debates No-Confidence Motion Amidst Tempi Train Crash Fallout

Tempi train

Greece’s parliament commenced discussions late Tuesday on a no-confidence motion submitted by the social democratic PASOK party.

During the plenary session, PASOK’s leader Nikos Androulakis asserted that the government, led by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, attempted to conceal its responsibility for the Tempi train crash in February, which claimed the lives of 57 people.

Androulakis claimed that by doing so, the government had eroded the credibility of state institutions and tarnished the image of politics in the public's eyes.

He stated, "This time, Mitsotakis has no choice but to come here to apologize. He will apologize for his government's actions, the tragedy at Tempe, and any other transgressions against the rule of law and institutions in our country."

In response, State Minister Makis Voridis, representing the government, accused Androulakis of serving the interests of a specific media group. He referenced recent leaks by the To Vima daily, alleging that recordings related to the accident were manipulated to absolve the government of responsibility.

"Some influential interest groups seek to overthrow the government, and this is not the first time," Voridis stated, accusing the PASOK leader of exploiting people's suffering.

Nikos Pappas, speaking for the main opposition, the SYRIZA party, reiterated the party's call for the government's resignation due to what he described as an unprecedented violation of the rule of law in the country. "Snap elections under the supervision of international observers are the only solution," he emphasized.

Zoe Konstantopoulou, leader of the Course of Freedom party and co-signer of the motion, emphasized her party's support for the censure motion against the government, advocating for justice, accountability, and an end to impunity.

She stated, "This is the demand of the families of the 57 victims, the injured, and society, calling for an investigation into the Tempi tragedy, for which the government is accountable."

The Tempi train crash occurred on Feb. 28, 2023, when a passenger train collided head-on with a freight train near the town of Tempi in northern Greece. The death toll stands at 57, including numerous university students and nine train crew members.

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