July 20. 2024. 11:26

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Greece to have elections in May, prime minister says


Greece will hold a general election in May, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitchells said in a TV interview on Tuesday (21 March).

The four-year term of the conservative government expires in July. Mitsotakis was widely anticipated to call an election in April.

After the worst rail accident in Greece on February 28, opinion polls show that his New Democracy party is losing ground to Syriza, the leftist opposition party.

The accident in which a freight and passenger train collided head-on killed 57 people. It also sparked anger and mass protests against railway safety standards.

In an interview with Alpha TV, Mitsotakis stated that he can assure you that the elections will take place in May. This was his first interview since the disaster.

Tens of thousands have protested in Greece against the crash. This is the largest street demonstration the government has seen since it was elected in 2019.

Protesters charge the government, as well as the previous governments over the past decade, with failing to respond to union calls regarding safety issues in the railway. This is a legacy from the decade-long financial crisis in Greece that ended in 2018.

The government has mostly blamed human error. Four railway workers, including the duty-station master, were taken into custody.

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Mitsotakis apologized for the delay in installing safety systems throughout Greece’s 2,550-km (1,550 mile) rail network.

Mitsotakis stated that visiting the crash site was "tough", but that he didn’t consider resigning.

He said: "I want to win elections again, and I believe we will eventually succeed."

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