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Athens mayor vows monument in memory of victims of deadly rail crash

Athens Mayor Haris Doukas has pledged to erect a monument in memory of the victims of last year’s railway disaster in Tempe, central Greece.

“The City of Athens is committed to ensuring that the names of the victims of the Tempe train crash remain indelibly etched in our collective memory,” Doukas said in a social media post on Thursday, expressing his intention to propose the construction of a monument commemorating the victims at the upcoming municipal council meeting.

Fifty-seven people died in the head-on collision between a passenger and a freight train on February 28, 2023. 

During an Athens demonstration marking the one-year anniversary of the tragedy on Wednesday, protesters inscribed the names of the victims in red on the pavement outside Parliament. 

Municipal crews later cleaned the area, sparking public outrage. Students participating in a rally against private universities on Thursday rewrote the 57 names.

Critics have slammed the ongoing investigation into the accident, citing delays and omissions. A petition launched by the association of victims’ relatives has garnered over one million signatures, demanding legislative measures to lift immunity from criminal prosecution for ministers and lawmakers.

“The City of Athens unites its voice with that of the citizens calling for justice,” Doukas said.

“Mere apologies are insufficient,” he said.