Greece's conservative government survives a no-confidence motion called over deadly rail disaster

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s center-right government survived a motion of no-confidence late Thursday that was brought by opposition parties over its handling of the country’s deadliest rail disaster a year ago.

Four left-wing opposition parties accused the government of hindering an investigation into the rail crash that left 57 people dead, many of them university students returning from a spring break.

Parliament voted 159-141 against the motion following an acrimonious three-day debate. The government also rejected opposition calls to hold a snap election.

The Feb. 28, 2023 crash occurred when a passenger train smashed into an oncoming freight train which had been mistakenly placed on the same track.

Conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis vowed to respect the results of an ongoing judicial investigation into the crash, and denied any wrongdoing.

“There was no cover up,” he told lawmakers ahead of the vote. “What exactly has all this debate (in parliament) contributed to the investigation?”

Opinion polls suggest that a majority of the public believe the government had not honestly addressed its responsibilities regarding the crash.

Despite its defeat, the no-confidence motion was the result of a rare collaboration between Greece’s center-left and left-wing parties ahead of European Parliament elections in June.