Protests in Greece: Police chief fired
Nfter the increase in protests in Greece The national police chief has been fired as a result of the serious train accident that killed 57 people. Konstantinos Skoumas had been relieved of his post, the prime minister’s office said on Saturday. A specific reason was not given, but criticism of the police had recently increased because of their handling of the protests.
The appointment of a new police chief aims to “more positively and efficiently implement modern police action plans to keep citizens safe,” the statement said.
The clashes between security forces and demonstrators had recently increased. During the latest protests on Thursday, a squad of riot police was filmed attacking and beating peaceful protesters in Athens’ central Syntagma Square. Footage also showed a police tow truck ramming into a group of protesters as they attempted to set up roadblocks.
Spotlight on deficiencies in rail transport
In the accident on February 28, a passenger train and an oncoming goods train collided head-on on the railway line between Athens and Thessaloniki. 57 people died, including many students. The hardest train wreck in the country’s history highlighted the chronic shortcomings in Greece’s rail transport system.
Public anger over the train crash is directed not only at the railways and their employees but also at the Greek government. According to the critics, the accident is the result of years of austerity and mismanagement by the railways. Since the accident, there have been repeated protests with tens of thousands of participants and strikes.
The conservative government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis is coming under increasing pressure because of an upcoming parliamentary election. The election, originally planned for April, is expected to be postponed by a month.