“It was the moment when the country was faced, as you rightly say, with eternal sins. A tragedy that should never have happened. It is unimaginable to think that in the Greece of 2023 there may be two trains on the same line, going in the opposite direction and no one has noticed. And I believe that all the citizens have realized – in their anger and rage – that this accident is the condensation of many decades of pathology which we have an obligation to deal with now, drastically” said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in his first interview after the accident in Tempi, on the show “Stars” by Stavros Theodorakis, for Alpha TV.

Responding to the student who participates in the protests and wonders who hears their slogans besides the police, he said “however, I heard them and I even remember that ‘Aggelos already said that he was protesting as a “proud Greek”. And Angelos said something else – which I found extremely mature for a 20-year-old child – that everything must change in the country, but we must change first. We must all change together, it is not only a matter of leadership, which obviously has the primary responsibility to ensure the safety of Greek citizens. I can assure Angelos that the slogans of the young children who came out and demonstrated peacefully, however, I heard them and I believe many others heard them as well”.

The Prime Minister emphasized that we all want to know the truth. “I’ll make sure we get a big spotlight and shine a lot of light on exactly what happened. Not only on the evening of February 28 at Larissa station. I think we have more or less understood this, but how did we get here.”

“Responsibilities, then. They are being investigated by Justice, but we must also find out how we got to that night. Because to the simple question that Greek citizens have, “But it is not possible that only one station master is to blame”, my answer is categorical: Obviously, a series of human errors were made, but if things on the trains were different, if perhaps we had a different training, if we had taken care to complete the infamous 717 contract, it is very likely that this accident would not have happened. Well, we have to look in two different fields of research. But you asked me about the administrations. The administrations have already left, just like the minister himself left,” he said.

Mr. Mitsotakis added: “What we will do, and I have a discussion about this with the Italian Prime Minister – which is scheduled for the next few days – is to talk again openly with Hellenic Train and find a new framework where both places will invest in the railway what it deserves. So we have to do for the train, what we have to do as owners of the public infrastructure. And Hellenic Train should also invest in Greek trains with better trains – I won’t say faster trains, nor safer trains – because the trains must be absolutely safe. But only if we succeed and safely complete all the signaling of the main network can we expect better speeds on our trains.”