As of Wednesday in the early morning hours, we mourn about 50 people who lost their lives in a train collision near the valley of Tempi. According to the first reports, it appears that the collision was caused by a combination of factors linked to a lack of safety regulation, inadequate supervision, human error and the failure to comply with basic guidelines, including GPS.
Since the first moment, media and politicians have expressed their regret, declaring it a “bad moment” caused by human error, rushing to justify the unjustifiable by using excuses and promises. But we know It would have been an accident if everything was in place and proper procedures were in full action. But that wasn’t the case.
The railway unions have long warned against the dangers linked to the operation, maintenance, security and modernisation of the railways. Moreover, the employees have flagged how the 2017 privatisation of services orchestrated by the SYRIZA administration and implemented by the current conservative government has left services understaffed, undertrained, and without proper funding since the most profitable part of the organisation (tickets, train provider) was given away for a really small price to an Italian company.
The degree of parody is beyond imagination as the Greek Prime Minister, as only a few hours after the train collision, would attend a scheduled visit to Thessaloniki to “supervise” the Telecommand – Signalling Centre of the Northern Greece Railway Network. However, the unions had warned that no matter how many billions of euros have been thrown into this (corruption alert), Greek railways still have no signalling system (not even within the Athens network), and that clearance of the lines between stations is being done manually.
It is a centre that does not function with the Government’s responsibility and for which the workers have constantly complained through their unions and collective action.
As we keep counting our dead, to those who have organised privatisations and devaluated the social nature of the greek railways, we say one thing:
Soon everyone holding a slice of responsibility in their hands will reap storms. People who have no option other than to sit cold at home, feel embarrassed before the surge of prices at the supermarket, or are bullied at work, will rise and demand a better life.
Anametrisi offers our condolences to loved ones, families, and those who have lost their own. Their loss cannot be replaced by anything.
From our end, we will not forget what caused their loss. We promise to uncover the immense responsibilities of the neoliberal political class, and those responsible are held immediately accountable.
In this direct assault against our communities, the only way forward is to join forces and fight united.