Parliamentary committee to probe Tempe train tragedy

Parliamentary committee to probe Tempe train tragedy

The ruling conservatives announced that they would vote in favor of the proposal recently submitted to Parliament by the communist KKE party for the establishment of a parliamentary committee of inquiry into the fatal collision of two trains in Tempe in central Greece on February 28.

“We agree it is important that this debate be held in Parliament as part of the committee of inquiry and that the investigation should start, as the proposal says, from 1997 and onward. Obviously, our own positions and what we have to say will be expressed during this process, after the proposal has been passed,” said government spokesman Pavlos Marinakis, who also noted his party’s reservations about the content of the proposal.

Among other things, KKE’s proposal refers to the long-standing responsibilities of the governments of PASOK, SYRIZA and New Democracy, which explains the reservations mentioned by Marinakis. The proposal is also expected to be voted for by Greek Solution, Niki, Course of Freedom and possibly also by SYRIZA.

However, the proposal has fueled tension between KKE and PASOK.

In a statement, PASOK, which intends to call for the establishment of a preliminary investigation committee on the Tempe case, said that, among other things, KKE’s proposal “leads to the diffusion of responsibility by downplaying the need for immediate and priority investigation and attribution of possible criminal responsibility” of members of the current government. 

In response, KKE said that the proposal for a preliminary investigation committee, if rejected by the government majority, leads to the burial of the investigation. 

A 228-page report drafted by a special investigative commission for the Tempe accident assigned blame to state-run railway company OSE, its subsidiary ERGOSE, responsible for building infrastructure, the Railroad Regulatory Authority (RAS), private train operator Hellenic Train, as well as the stationmaster who set the two trains on a collision course, and the deceased train drivers, who allegedly did not follow the regulations. 

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