Hardly had the conservative Greek government established a 3-member committee tasked with the investigation of the deadly train disaster and one member resigned after it came under fire by opposition parties and large part of the social media society.
Thanassis Ziliaskopoulos, a professor of production and transportation at the University of Thessaly, submitted his resignation in less than 24 hours.
Fierce criticism came from opposition parties that stressed Ziliaskopoulos previous job as CEO of TrainOSE (currently Hellenic Train) from 2010 to 2015 raised questions of impartiality.
“He will check his own responsibilities himself. That’s a mockery and an insult,” commented former SYRIZA Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Nikos Pappas.,
Further more they complained that although PM Mitsotakis has assured on his address to the nation that the train disaster committee would have the consent of all parties, they noted that they were not even asked about the appointments.
During his tenure as CEO of TrainOSE in the period 2010-2015, the staff of the Greek railways was dramatically reduced due to the pressures imposed by the country’s bailout, which led to a reduction in the level of services provided, media report.
“Due to the special weight of the work of the committee for the whole of Greek society, I would not like my past job to be used as an alibi to damage the integrity and impartiality of the committee’s work and conclusions,” Ziliaskopoulos said in a statement issued on Saturday adding that he remains at the disposal of the state.
Worth noting is that the currently acting Transportation Minister is son-in-law of the main share holder of a well-known company that has won modernization contracts with the rail network managing OSE.
Some journalists point out:”the Railway Regulatory Authority is empowered to carry out the investigation into the Tempi railway disaster under EU regulation 1371/2007. It has already stated. So what is PM’s committee all about?”
The committee is about pure politics and how to do damage control before the upcoming elections. So simple, said my kitty.