Greek PM vows 'absolute transparency' in rail crash probe
Greece's prime minister on Thursday pledged "absolute transparency" in the probe into the country's deadliest rail crash that killed 57 people, a day after mass protests rocked the country.
Public anger has been growing since the head-on collision last week in central Greece.
A stationmaster has been charged after he allegedly directed the trains onto the same track by mistake, but critics also point to long-running network mismanagement.
Speaking at the start of his first cabinet meeting since the crash, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis vowed "absolute transparency in the investigation to uncover errors".
The conservative leader also promised "immediate actions to improve the problematic situation in the railways", and that he would "move heaven and Earth" to ensure improvements to safety systems were completed.
"We are all responsible for this, we must be brave enough to admit it," said Mitsotakis -- who is fighting to be elected at polls within months -- in televised remarks.
On Wednesday, tens of thousands took to the streets in the biggest protests yet since the crash, calling for justice for the victims and for the government to resign.
They waved banners that read "It's not an accident, it's a crime" and "It could have been any of us on that train", and clashes erupted in Athens and Greece's second city Thessaloniki.
Alongside the protesters, Greek civil servants staged a 24-hour walkout while doctors, teachers and transport workers also went on strike.
- 'We must not hide' -
Calls were growing for Mitsotakis to quit over the tragedy.
The initial blame on the stationmaster has stoked public anger, with some seeing it as a bid to deflect attention from chronic underfunding and mismanagement of the country's railways.
The official was inexperienced and had been left working the night shift alone during a busy long holiday weekend.
In his remarks Thursday, the prime minister apologised again and said that "we... must not hide behind a series of human errors".
The cabinet meeting was the first since the accident, after they were suspended during a period of national mourning last week.
Later Thursday, a religious ceremony will take place at the crash site in memory of the victims.
Greece's transport minister resigned following the crash, and Mitsotakis has been scrambling to limit the political fallout by embarking on a flurry of public appearances to soothe public anger.
He has pledged to work with the European Union to modernise the country's railway network, and on Wednesday met visiting EU officials to get their advice.
The prime minister and other politicians suspended campaigning for upcoming elections in the wake of the tragedy. There is now speculation that the polls, initially expected in April, could be delayed until May.