“I can say with certainty that the elections will take place in May,” Mitsotakis said. He did not name a specific date. It was the conservative prime minister’s first television interview since the train disaster three weeks ago.

The government has been under enormous pressure since the accident: there have been repeated protests, and many Greeks blame the government for the poor condition of the rail network and thus also for the disaster. In addition, Mitsotakis was sharply criticized for dealing with the accident – his resignation was repeatedly demanded at the demonstrations.

The mandate of the current Conservative government ends in July. According to media reports, they actually wanted the elections to take place in April. Because of the accident and the protests, the plans have now been changed.

Shortly before midnight on February 28, a passenger train and an oncoming freight train traveling on the same track collided head-on on the Athens-Thessaloniki railway line. 57 people died, including many students. It was the worst train accident in the country’s history and highlighted the chronic shortcomings in Greece’s rail transport system.