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Greece’s conservative government survives no-confidence vote over deadly train disaster

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s center-right government on Thursday evening survived a motion of no confidence filed by opposition parties over its handling of the country’s deadliest train disaster a year ago.

Four left-wing opposition parties have accused the government of obstructing an investigation into the train crash that killed 57 people, many of them university students returning from spring break.

BODIES FROM TRAIN COLLISION IN GREECE THAT KILLED 57 SENT TO FAMILIES IN CLOSED COFFINS

Parliament voted 159 to 141 against the motion following an acrimonious three-day debate. The government also rejected opposition calls for early elections.

Vote of confidence in Greece

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, center, is applauded by his party’s lawmakers during a parliamentary session in Athens, Greece, Thursday, March 28, 2024. Greece’s center-right government on Thursday survived a motion to censure filed by opposition parties over his handling of the country’s deadliest rail disaster. Parliament voted 159 to 141 against the motion following an acrimonious three-day debate. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

The accident on February 28, 2023, occurred when a passenger train collided with an oncoming freight train mistakenly placed on the same track.

Conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has pledged to respect the results of the ongoing judicial investigation into the accident and has denied any wrongdoing.

“There was no cover-up,” he told lawmakers before the vote. “What exactly has all this debate (in Parliament) done for the investigation?”

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Opinion polls suggest that a majority of the public believes that the government has not honestly taken responsibility for the accident.

Despite his defeat, the no-confidence motion was the result of rare collaboration between Greece’s center-left and left parties in the run-up to June’s European Parliament elections.

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