"The KKE expresses its sorrow for the unprecedented fatal train accident in Tempe and its sincere condolences to the families of the victims. It calls upon its members and friends to participate in the blood donations held in the towns where the injured are being hospitalized.
We demand that there be a full investigation into the causes of this tragedy, that nothing be covered up!
There have long been indications that a very dangerous situation has developed in rail transport, both for passengers and for workers. There were numerous warnings from workers that it was only a matter of time before a serious accident occurred, which were apparently ignored by the government and the company.
This is confirmed by the complaints about the poorly maintained network, about shortcomings and gaps in safety systems, staffing and critical infrastructure such as signage. These are precisely the issues raised just a few days ago by the statement made by the trade union grouping of railway workers supported by the KKE, with the shocking prediction that ‘we will not wait for the accident to come to see them shedding crocodile tears while making ex post observations’.
Therefore, this is not “bad luck”, but a crime that was bound to happen, having causes and culprits.
The company bears enormous responsibility. In its statements, it provided no answer as regards the details and causes of the accident, or even the exact number of passengers on the train. However, it receives €50 million a year from the state as a subsidy.
All of the above are the result of the policy pursued over time of so-called railway liberalization, state underfunding, the fragmentation of the railway system into many parts and the privatization of the former TRAINOSE. This is a criminal —as is demonstrated— policy that bears the stamp of all the New Democracy, SYRIZA and PASOK governments to date. In the framework of this policy, workers have been made redundant, flexible working conditions and intensification have been imposed on those who remain, while the Italian company has been heavily subsidized.
These responsibilities cannot be absolved by the resignation of a minister, nor can they be hidden behind the Prime Minister’s statements about human errors.
This policy, which all the other parties loyally follow, has led to tragic accidents in other EU countries too. Therefore, no one has the right to pretend they did not know about the situation.
The necessary conditions for safe and modern rail transport are sacrificed on the altar of this criminal state policy and investor profits, since they are systematically treated as a cost.
The struggle against the above is literally a matter of life and death!”
Messages of condolences were sent to the KKE
Messages of condolences and solidarity with the Greek people were sent on the occasion of the tragedy in Tempe. So far, the headquarters of the CC of the KKE have received messages by the Communist Party of Mexico,the Communist Party of the Workers of Spain and the Communist Party of Turkey.
Mobilizations of university students’ unions in Athens, Thessaloniki, Larissa
Most of the victims in the traina ccident had been waiting to happen were university students, returning to their place of study from a short holiday.
On Wednesday 1/3,the students’ unions in the cities of Athens, Thessaloniki and Larissa held silent demonstrations outside the offices of the company “Hellenic Train” and at the railway stations, with the slogan “Our dead - their profits”.
In Athens, there was an unprovoked attack on the students by the police and riot police, who tried to disperse the gathering with tear gas, without success. The students marched to the Parliament, with the repressive forces continuing their attempt to disperse them by constantly throwing chemicals.
All-Workers Militant Front (PAME): Not an accident. But a planned and ongoing crime
PAME Secretariat expresses its sincere condolences to the families of the victims of the unspeakable tragedy in Tempe, Larissa and calls on the government to intensify its efforts to locate the missing persons, to provide full support to the injured and the families of the victims.
The criminal responsibility of the government for the head-on collision between the two trains that left dozens of dead cannot be hidden behind promises to find the causes.
The causes lie in the policy of commercialisation and privatisation of the railways that the SYRIZA government started in 2017, when it sold TRAINOSE to Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group for 45 million euros, even giving it a premium of 250 million euros. A contract that was ratified by the government of the New Democracy in July 2022, resulting in the Italian company pocketing 750 million euros for 15 years, running the “barren line Athens-Thessaloniki!!!
These are decisions that reinforce privatisations at the expense of the interests and life of the people. They are in defence of the profits of multinationals, investors and those who exploit infrastructure that the people have paid dearly for. It is in the line of maintaining and worsening the working conditions of workers who pay for non-existent health and safety measures with their own lives.
All those who sold OSE-Greek Railways instead of arming it with modern safety systems, leaving the Greek railways with few workers, without proper training, specialisation and certification, must now answer. Those are all the governments that have devalued infrastructure projects instead of completing them, without maintenance and repairs necessary for their safe operation. Who threw into the dustbin the agonizing warnings of workers about all of the above over time.
We note that a few days before the new, unspeakable tragedy, PAME trade unionists warned that the decisions of the last governments were responsible not only for all the accidents that have occurred, but also for those that were bound to follow.
The working class of our country, through its trade unions, can and will intervene decisively so that not only will the real responsibilities be attributed to the anti-peoples policies and its representatives, but will continue with greater vigour the struggle so that no one is crippled and loses his life in the 21st century for the profits of a handful of parasites who are indifferent to the life and well-being of the people.
We are fighting for safe, public and cheap rail transport, against the privatisation policy that considers human life as a cost.
We call on all Trade Unions to take part in the mobilization organized on the initiative of the Regional Trade Union Centre of Piraeus on Thursday 2 March at 6 pm, outside the offices of Hellenic Train.
inter.kke.gr / solidnet.org