World

Greece’s government survives no-confidence motion called over rail disaster

The deadly rail disaster left 57 people dead after a passenger train smashed into an oncoming freight train.

A Greek opposition party submitted a motion of no-confidence against the government, saying that it tried to cover up its responsibility over a deadly rail disaster last year (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
Greece Confidence Vote A Greek opposition party submitted a motion of no-confidence against the government, saying that it tried to cover up its responsibility over a deadly rail disaster last year (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) (Petros Giannakouris/AP)

Greece’s centre-right government survived a motion of no-confidence on Thursday that was brought by opposition parties over its handling of the country’s deadliest rail disaster a year ago.

Four left-wing opposition parties accused the government of hindering an investigation into the rail crash that left 57 people dead, many of them university students returning from a spring break.

Parliament voted 159-141 against the motion following an acrimonious three-day debate. The government also rejected opposition calls to hold a snap election.

The crash on February 28 2023 occurred when a passenger train smashed into an oncoming freight train that had been mistakenly placed on the same track.

Greece Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis vowed to respect the results of an ongoing judicial investigation (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
Greece Confidence Vote Greece Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis vowed to respect the results of an ongoing judicial investigation (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) (Petros Giannakouris/AP)

Conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis vowed to respect the results of an ongoing judicial investigation into the crash and denied any wrongdoing.

“There was no cover-up,” he told MPs ahead of the vote. “What exactly has all this debate (in parliament) contributed to the investigation?”

Opinion polls suggest that a majority of the public believe the government had not honestly addressed its responsibilities regarding the crash.

Despite its defeat, the no-confidence motion was the result of a rare collaboration between Greece’s centre-left and left-wing parties ahead of European Parliament elections in June.