Nationwide strikes largely paralyzed traffic and the state in Greece on Thursday. The strikes are the result of the worst train accident in the country’s history, which killed 57 people and injured dozens more than two weeks ago. Tens of thousands of people demonstrated in all major cities and demanded clarification of the circumstances of the accident.

In Athens, masked people used the opportunity for riots. They broke away from the crowd of demonstrators and engaged in street battles with the police.

Air traffic was one of the areas affected by the strike: All domestic and international flights were canceled because the air traffic controllers were on strike. Ferry traffic, rail traffic and local public transport were also on strike. In addition, public sector workers and health workers went on strike.

Police take six people into custody

The rioters – around 150 masked people – threw incendiary bottles and stones at the police in Athens. They set fire to dumpsters, smashed shop windows and damaged cars, state television showed. The police used tear gas, stun grenades and batons. Six people were taken into custody and a police officer was slightly injured, Greek media reported. There were also minor riots in the port city of Patras.

The reason for the recent many strikes and demonstrations was not only the indignation of the citizens about the poor state of the Greek railways but also the primary election campaign. Parliamentary elections must be held in Greece by the beginning of July at the latest, a date has not yet been set. Opposition parties are already mobilizing their members to take part in strikes and demonstrations to put pressure on the incumbent conservative government.

The investigation into the head-on collision of a passenger train with a freight train continued. A station manager is already in custody, other suspected responsible persons are being questioned. The previous investigations brought enormous deficits in the railway to light. The station master, who sent the passenger train onto the wrong platforms, was demonstrably completely overwhelmed at his post. The technical security systems have also worked only partially or not at all for years.