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24-hour strike paralyzes Greece amid opposition criticism

Greece’s public sector employees' union federation, ADEDY, and several others are joining forces Wednesday in 24-hour demonstrations concerning a deadly train accident.

ADEDY and unions representing seamen, hospital employees and doctors and school teachers are demanding answers to the head-on train collision last week that left at least 57 dead. There are also demands for safer transportation in Greece’s transport system.

“The Union’s demand that the real responsibilities are assigned, that the murderous crime of Tempe does not pass into oblivion, demanding modern and safe mass transportation against the policy that turns transportation from a social good into a commodity,” leftist affiliated website said in a statement.

Government spokesman Yiannis Economou responded in an interview with SKAI TV and he said: “Responsibilities will be sought at all levels and there will be no cover-up," underlining that it is "our basic obligation in the face of this unspeakable tragedy, for the people who are burying their relatives, the victims who have passed, the people who were left behind."

Economou said there is a committee of experts investigating the accident who will conduct an administrative and technical assessment.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has asked that any investigation should be conducted without delay, he said.

"It is our obligation to do everything in our power to prevent it from happening again. Our priority is first to give answers to society and secondly to act -- immediate and medium- to long-term -- so that things will be significantly and substantially improved, and it is certain that something like this will not happen again," said Economou.

MP and member of the central committee of the Greek communist party, Yiannis Giokas, said Wednesday on ERT1 that the rhetoric by the New Democracy and SYRIZA parties has intensified the already existing world anger about the tragedy in Tempe.

Giokas pointed out that on one hand, “New Democracy invents new excuses every day to hide its enormous responsibilities for the crime and does not respond to the complaints of the workers' unions about the gaps in security and on the other hand SYRIZA makes very convenient criticism in order to hide” their own responsibilities.

Demonstrators are also demanding equal opportunities for women in the health and welfare sector to mark International Women’s Day.

Source: Anadolu Agency