Kyriakos Mitsotakis is hosted by Stavros Theodorakis’ Protagonists for an interview – a discussion that received a lot of comments – mostly not positive – from the moment it was announced.
The prime minister, in his first interview after the fatal accident in Tempi, is asked to answer questions – observations of young people who were on the fatal train, which are conveyed by Stavros Theodorakis.
Tempi: This is the truth about the remote control system in Larissa
Since the morning, there have been no leaks that there will be revelations about the time of the elections.
“A tragedy that should never have happened. Inconceivable how in 2023 two trains can be on the same line in opposite direction and no one has noticed. Pathogens of years are concentrated” said the prime minister at the start of the show.
“He has every reason to be afraid and worried” answers Kyriakos Mitsotakis to a question from Evdokia Tsagli, who was injured in the accident in Tempi, but he adds that she too will have to “put her back” in order for everything to change.
“The capacity of the state apparatus was demonstrated and I am talking about EMAK, the ambulances and the hospital of Larissa. The children who were in the first wagons will have to manage it of course with our support but our first concern at that time was to save lives”.
What did the merchant train carry?
What did the merchant train contain? “There was nothing flammable, the collision was so severe that it caused an explosion and fire. There was nothing suspicious.”
“In how many months will we experience a journey without fear again?” asked a passenger with the prime minister replying “it will be a while before we feel carefree getting on a train again. We all thought it could happen to us or our children.”
“Historically, the train in Greece has been a neglected medium,” he noted.
Hellenic Train and TRAINOSE responsibilities and party appointments
“We all want to know the truth and I will make sure we shed a lot of light on what happened that night and how we got here. “Obviously there were a number of human errors, but if things on the trains had been different, the accident probably wouldn’t have happened.
The managements of Hellenic Train and TRAINOSE have been removed as has the Minister of Transport. The people who ran were capable people, not party picks. I have proven that I do not like party appointments.
If we want to claim good executives we will be determined to pay more to the State without being accused by the opposition of being “Golden Boys”. We cannot discuss worthy executives with humiliating salaries.
Both major parties, ND and SYRIZA moved in the logic of the party state. I found myself opposed to it. I fought for the evaluation in the State and I was the first to check how the disciplinary councils were done in the State and I had the majority of public opinion against me” notes Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Will the state demand that the investments promised by the Italians of Hellenic Train be made?
“They wanted to sell her for 300 and then we were accused of selling out. It was sold for 45 million euros and at the same time debts were written off, which exceeded 700 million euros. Why did this happen; Because our trains – as you had the opportunity to highlight in your show – were deeply problematic. So, for me the issue, because I want to be fair, was not so much the price, but what Hellenic Train would do from now on to get modern and safe trains.
They wanted to sell her for 300 and then we were accused of selling out. It was sold for 45 million euros and at the same time debts were written off, which exceeded 700 million euros. Why did this happen; Because our trains – as you had the opportunity to highlight in your show – were deeply problematic. So, for me, the issue, because I want to be fair, was not so much the price, but what Hellenic Train would do from now on to get modern and safe trains” emphasizes Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
“They wanted to sell her for 300 and then we were accused of selling out. It was sold for 45 million euros and at the same time debts were written off, which exceeded 700 million euros. Why did this happen; Because our trains – as you had the opportunity to highlight in your show – were deeply problematic. So, for me the issue, because I want to be fair, was not so much the price, but what Hellenic Train would do from now on to get modern and safe trains” he underlines, among other things.
“OSE has always been the big “hole” of the Greek State”
When asked by Stavros Theodorakis about the “sinful contracts” that in the end did not improve the safety of the lines at all, Kyriakos Mitsotakis admits: “OSE has been throughout time – and during the days of the New Democracy – the great “hole” of the Greek State. With accumulated debts, which made Olympiaki seem very small, as problematic”.
«If I’m not mistaken, 16 billion were deleted – if I remember correctly – at the time of the memorandums. It’s debt. This is money given by the Greek taxpayer. We are talking about stories which really amount to not just what we call the “deep state”, to a black hole. Third-world real situations concerning the OSE for which the factions that ruled have certainly been responsible throughout time. At least until the days of the memos, where it entered, it was the exact opposite. A very deep knife went in…” continued the prime minister.
“The money for support was cut. Too many people left and since then we are struggling, the Governments are struggling with them to find a new balance and in the context of this period we must also examine the history of the infamous contract 717. The OSE was a very convenient “shop” to set up contracts from various for projects, which were overpriced, for projects which were not completed” noted Mr. Mitsotakis.
The 717 Convention – “Why is it so hard for all sides to say ‘we’re all to blame’?”
The 717 contract for telegovernance and the different percentages that ND and SYRIZA claim to have delivered from its work took center stage in the discussion.
“What do we know about this contract? It was signed in 2014 and was supposed to be completed in 2016. We know that. In ’19 when we came to things it was not completed. It is also certain that during our days a supplementary contract was signed, which was not signed during SYRIZA, and since then the project started to run at a faster speed” he says.
«With more money. It is also equally certain that the work was not completed in our day. Now what I think annoys and angers the citizens in this – completely unpleasant – confrontation is that some are trying not just to apportion blame, but to say roughly that the trains were working fine until July ’19 and here came us and the we broke up We and I personally took on my responsibility with courage and spoke. “We’re all to blame.” Why is it so difficult, Mr. Theodorakis, for us all to finally have this conversation? Because not everyone has said it. Not everyone has said it. Can’t we finally agree that we all have a share of responsibility? Our share for the years we ruled. Is that so hard? And we must challenge the intelligence of citizens. And I would also say the anger of the victims of the tragedy by saying “we are not to blame and others are to blame”. But will anyone gain politically from this? I highly doubt it but on a deep, human level…
“No doubt that the local remote control in Larissa was working and the station master did not use it”
“It is absolutely certain, Mr. Theodorakis, that the local – I emphasize this – remote control system has been operating in Larissa since November ’22. This is beyond any doubt and I want to emphasize it and I want to categorically refute anyone who claims otherwise. And why am I saying this? Because all previous trains, which passed through Larissa station that day, were marked using this system. What we need to understand is why this particular station master did not use it. There was no doubt that the system was working. There was also no doubt that the station master did not use it. That’s all we know. Again, of course, I emphasize that I am not the one who will throw every station master into the “outer fire”” said Kyriakos Mitsotakis about the control panel in Larissa and the mistake of the station master.
When the trains delivered… baton – “It’s not Greece, it’s the Greece of the ‘blanco'”
“Our trains used to run safely on single lines without any remote control system and do you know how it was then? I learned that along the way. I didn’t know how the communication between the stations was necessary at that time and how were the station masters sure that there was no train on the opposite line, on the single line? He was taking the train a baton. Normal baton. He was leaving one and handing her over. And if the baton was not handed over, there was no way the train would leave the other station. So we found ourselves in a strange phase, where technology began to enter our lives. Human management has also changed. What I think bothered me the most and angered me is this culture of “nepotism”, “blank”, indifference to something that we all saw. Everyone was calling us now. We are now told that this man did not. But no one then said, “Hey guys why are we putting him on this shift?” Justice will find these. It is not Greece, the Greece of the “blanco” stresses the prime minister, commenting on what has seen the light of day about the shifts of the station masters in Larissa.
Earthquake: Celentis estimates for 4.6 Richter in Amfilochia