Greek election to be held in May under shadow of deadly train crash

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Greece will hold general elections in May, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a television interview on Tuesday.

No exact date was given for the polls.

Mitsotakis’ term officially ends in July, ahead of which a second ballot may be needed if the first vote fails to produce a majority or a multi-party coalition.

According to Ekathimerini, opinion polls show his New Democracy party’s lead over the leftist opposition SYRIZA party shrinking following Greece’s worst rail disaster on February 28.

Mitsotakis in his first television interview after Greece’s train crash.

The accident, which saw a passenger train and a freight train collide head on at Tempi, killed 57 people and stirred anger and mass protests over railway safety standards.

Mitsotakis has apologised for a delayed plan to install safety systems across Greece’s 2,500 kilometre rail network. He said visiting the crash scene was “tough,” but that he did not consider resigning.

“I aim to win elections again and I believe that we will eventually succeed,” he said.

This announcement came as train services in Greece resumed on Wednesday for the first time since the deadly rail disaster three weeks ago.

Trains restarted in Greece on Wednesday.

National and suburban train services restarted only along limited sections of the rail network, with additional train and station staff and compulsory speed reduction points at areas where the potential for a collision is considered higher.

Full services will resume on April 11, including railway transportation between Athens and Greece’s second-largest city, Thessaloniki.

Source: Ekathimerini and AP News.

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