Greece: the train crash of was not an accident but a state crime


Late at night on February 28th, the collision of two trains in the recently privatised and chronically degraded railways left at least 57 dead, most of them students at Thessaloniki’s local universities. Since then, there has been permanent mobilisation, marches, demonstrations and strikes. Today, March 8, the women’s strike coincided with a general strike; there have been demonstrations in more than 80 cities, towns and islands. Athens and Thessaloniki have seen their biggest demonstrations in about a decade.

Feelings of mourning and rage have overtaken the country, as a large part of the population is waking up to the fact that the train collision was not an isolated incident owing to human error, as they want to have us believe, but the logical outcome of years of degradation and precarisation of our lives orchestrated by all governments in favour of private profits.

The incident exposes deep decay on many different levels: the criminal neglect and degradation of public infrastructure, the understaffing and underfunding due to austerity cuts, the colonial-type privatisation agreements, the clientelist appropriation of public services, the collusion of politicians with constructors in big infrastructure works, the defamation campaigns against railway trade unions that were constantly denouncing security deficiencies, the incompetence and irresponsibility of the government, the cynicism of politicians who seem to care more about their re-election prospects than the massive loss of life, and the complicity of the oligarchic mass media, which lie and manipulate to cover up the real responsibilities.
The train collision hits very close to home, as everyone identifies with the young passengers and their mourning families.

The profits of the rich the blood of the poor the war of the bosses
It was not an accident it was another STATE CRIME after devaluation, privatisation and degradation of public infrastructure and transport.
The system of profit and death is not improved but overthrown.
In the streets of struggle, resistance and revolt the right to life, freedom and dignity will be judged.

But there is a deeper discontent expressed in the protests, as the last few years have marked a drastic degradation of living conditions for most, carried out by a cynical and arrogant political class in service of international capital and their own clientelist networks, aided by the media blackout and police repression of all dissenting voices. People feel expendable and unprotected. The mass murder at the railroads is only the culmination of the Greek state’s necropolitics, with hundreds of migrants dead at the borders, tens of thousands of preventable Covid-19 deaths at hospitals ravaged by austerity cuts, assassinations of dissenters and minorities at the hands of the police and a surge in femicides in the last few years. At the same time, an estimated 100.000 households have lost their homes to vulture funds, and the government paves the way for the privatization of water companies – which was successfully stopped by a mass movement 10 years ago – as well as healthcare and education.

High school and university students, representing a generation that has known nothing but precarity and neglect, are at the forefront of the mobilisations. Feminist organisations, trade unions, teachers, migrants, leftist and anti-authoritarian groups are also mobilising, against an arrogant government that has been ruling for too long through repression, propaganda, fear and surveillance. Protests are routinely met with tear gas and riot police charges, but this is hardly enough to scare people away. Among the slogans are «this was not an accident, it was murder», «their profits, our dead», «they talk about profit and loss, we talk about human lives» and «our tears have dried up and turned into rage».

  • April 2022: Resignation of the chairman of the project for the installation of the railway signalling system and responsible for train safety, denouncing the inadequacy of rail traffic safety.

Autumn 2022:

  • 1 August 2022: derailment of 1521 in Tithorea.
  • 10 October 2022: Derailment of a commuter train in Lianokladi
  • 21 October 2022: derailment of 882 at Tithorea
  • February 2023: The Unionist Democratic Railway Union denounces 2 accidents on the railway network due to lack of protective measures and warns of imminent accident.


Evidently, people were not futurists, nor did they have any divine epiphanies. They were aware of the HELLENIC TRAIN company’s lack of maintenance, understaffing, criminal omissions, the dangers of their work and the danger to hundreds of passengers every day.

Thus, on the afternoon of Tuesday 28 February 2023, the passenger train IC62 leaves Athens for Thessaloniki with at least 350 passengers (while at noon on the same day the corresponding route was interrupted due to a technical problem in the power supply) and collides with a commercial train running in the opposite direction. I was on board this train, along with hundreds of my colleagues, returning from my place of work to my place of study after the holiday weekend. I will not describe the moments of horror we experienced, the tabloid press has already taken care to exploit the situation and create profitable images of the loss of people, of the pain of every mother, father, partner, brother/sister […].

Extract from the text of a fellow passenger on the train wreck, entitled «Travelling on the IC62 train: a painful reminder that the State and Capital are murderers». Available in full (among others) at


Pain. Grief. Anger: these are the omnipresent feelings – in the social atmosphere – that sweep the country from one end to the other and that have been taking shape for a week now through an incessant wave of continuous rallies, demonstrations, occupations and other direct actions. A wave of just and hopeful popular rage that – despite the state repression and the chemical warfare of the uniformed EL.AS killers – crowds the streets and, with the youth in the front line, becomes more and more massive and militant against all the perpetrators of this deadly massacre that has not stopped. A wave of just and hopeful popular anger that -despite the state repression and the chemical warfare of the uniformed murderers of the Hellenic Police- is swarming on the streets and, with the youth at the forefront, is becoming more and more massive and militant against all the perpetrators of this deadly massacre that has not been stopped.

A wave of just and hopeful popular anger which – despite state repression and the chemical warfare of the uniformed killers of the Hellenic Police – crowds the streets and which, with the youth at the forefront, becomes more and more massive and militant against all the perpetrators of this deadly massacre which was not a railway «accident» but a predestined crime.

Another «sacrifice on the dirty altar» of Capital which – as Marx wrote a century and a half ago – is only «frightened by the lack of profit or by too little profit […] When capital has a corresponding profit, it becomes audacious. At 10% profit it feels secure and can be employed everywhere; at 20% it becomes courageous; at 50% it becomes positively reckless; at 100% it tramples on all human laws; at 300% there is no crime it will not risk committing, even at the risk of going to the gallows»…..

Rage against the most neo-liberal and extreme right-wing post-communist government of Mitsotakis’ son, which from the very first moment, with the help of the silver-tongued regime’s media, has been trying to exonerate itself from its criminal responsibilities, outrageously citing «human errors», «individual responsibility» and the notorious «timeless pathologies of the system».

Cornered by the mass and militant mobilisations, this ruthless bunch of neo-liberals – extreme right-wing political servants of the capitalist and imperialist thieves who have been ruling for four years – completing the looting that has accelerated during the decade of the memorandum – indulge in cheap communicative «damage management»: through the hypocritical resignation from the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure of the nephew of Minister Karamanlis – who will be a candidate again in the next elections and a few days before the massacre had the audacity to be «outraged» by the complaints about the tragic shortcomings of the safety system of the railway network; and the assumption by the Minister of State Gerapetritis (son-in-law of one of the «national contractors» – owner of GEK-Terna M. Gourzi), through the creation of a controlled «expert committee» and false promises of «full clarification», through a belated, written and hypocritical apology of the Prime Minister, the government of the «unprincipled legal owners» of the country and the «executive state» hopes to calm the widespread social protest caused by this massacre. «But nothing, nowadays, is for apologies»….

Rage against all the political personnel of the bourgeois opposition parties, those who, after having contributed for twenty years to the devaluation, the break-up and finally the sale of OSE in 2017 to the Italian state company Ferrovie dello Stato SPA, have the nerve to speculate on the corpses of the victims, in the hope of reaping political benefits and forgetting the fact that this plundering of public wealth (in the name of «modernisation», «consolidation» and the Troika’s «memorandum preconditions») started and intensified during their years in office. However, «blood is not water and Memory is not rubbish»…

Rage against the Brussels leaderships which, after having imposed -through privatisations- the transformation of the third Greek «Republic» into a pariah state of the EU to guarantee the capitalist-imperialist interests of the usurers of the «lenders and partners», now shed crocodile tears and hypocritically hide behind the recent referral of Greece to the European Court of Justice «for non-compliance with the rules on rail transport».

8 March: March in Preveza (

Rage against this murderous state for which our lives, the lives of the suffering social majority living and working in this country, are nothing but statistics and sometimes «collateral damage» to ensure the over profitability of the vaunted «investors».

[…] You should never say to a capitalist: «oh, please, could you also give me a little breathing space; could you be a little nicer, a little more understanding? Let’s come to an agreement…» No. The only way to talk to a capitalist is to talk to him.

No. The only way to talk to them is to corner them in the toilet, stick their head in the toilet and flush. It’s the only way to make a better world, maybe with fewer fancy shop windows, maybe with fewer motorways, but with fewer limousines, with fewer scoundrels. The real thieves, those misanthropes with fat bellies. And then we’d have justice […].

Extract from Dario Fo. «I don’t pay, I don’t pay».

With this statement we express our sincere condolences to the families of the victims and our heartfelt wishes for a speedy recovery to those injured in this capitalist crime.

We salute the thousands of workers and unemployed, students, pupils, comrades and comrades-in-arms who have been taking Justice and Rage to the streets for a week, in Athens and all over the country.

We express our solidarity to those who were beaten, injured and arrested by the police, as well as to the 5 arrested from the mass and militant demonstration in Syntagma the day before yesterday who are detained at the GADA and will be charged with serious crimes, tomorrow 8/3 at the courts of Evelpidon.

Against state repression and the evolving epidemic. Against the police and the police forces, they will be tried at the court of justice.

Against state repression and the cover-up operation.

Against state repression and the ongoing cover-up operation, against the regime’s propaganda and political provocation

Solidarity has been, is and will be our weapon.

Let’s not get used to death! The murderers must pay!

No national mourning! We have a class war!

Strike Wednesday 8th March.

All of us on the streets of rage!

Nothing is over! Everything continues!

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