Karamanlis for Tempi: "If the procedures had been followed the accident would have been prevented"

"As a parent I respect their pain"

Screenshot 10 2 Temps

The former Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Kostas Karamanlis, once again publicly expressed his deepest sorrow to the families of the victims and all the survivors of the tragedy from the train collision in Tempi, beginning his testimony to the Parliament's Investigative Committee this morning.

"As a parent, I respect their pain", emphasized Mr. Karamanlis, reiterating that he feels an absolute obligation to speak to the inquest about Tempi with honesty, responsibility and respect for the memory of the people who were so unjustly lost.

"Personally, I am here to talk about everything exactly as I know it to be", underlined Mr. Karamanlis and added addressing the members of the Examination Committee: "Whatever I have to say, I will say it looking you, my colleagues in the eyes , but also all Greek men and women who want to know the truth".

Mr. Karamanlis then clarified that "there is nothing that can make me embellish reality. But I'm not going to let unanswered, non-existent opinions float around."

He also made it clear that he will not fuel sterile politics, or worse, petty partisan bickering over such an issue. "I've been here since the first moment. I didn't hide. I didn't do theater. And I don't even intend to do it now", emphasized Mr. Karamanlis and added: "Yes, then in the truth and not in political robbery".

He also noted that "the inhumane exploitation of human suffering cannot have a place in this room."

Referring to his resignation from the position of Minister of Infrastructure and Transport a few hours after the accident, Mr. Karamanlis emphasized: "I did not think for a moment to hide behind the responsibilities of others. I resigned against the established political practice in such circumstances. I considered this act self-evident."

He also noted that "honestly, I was not bothered at all by the pettiness of some political opponents who challenged her, while they themselves have never shown the decency to resign from any position, for any reason."

"If the procedures of the Traffic Regulation had been followed, the accident would have been prevented"

Mr. Karamanlis stated that he has been following carefully, all these days, the statements that have been made to the Commission. “Many points of view were heard and various aspects of the facts were given. But there was not a single expert, not a single person among those who know the subject in depth, I repeat not a single one, who denied that if even one side had followed the procedures of the General Traffic Regulation the accident would have been prevented. From workers and trade unionists, to executives of Organizations of all periods, but also the administrations of RAS", he pointed out.

He also referred to the Justice investigation into the case in all its dimensions. "Be sure that no one in this room wants the full clarification of the case more than I do," emphasized Mr. Karamanlis and expressed the belief that most opposition MPs also want to know the truth.

"There are certainly some who, before the Examination has even begun, have already drawn up their opinion against me.... Most of you, however, I want to believe - and I do believe - that you are looking for what all Greeks are looking for: the truth" noted Kostas Karamanlis

"And the systems are operated by people"

Mr. Karamanlis said that he has accepted the question "well, if everything is the fault of some people, then why bring new technologies to the railway?" and explained that "the answer is that the more we develop the technology we use, the more we upgrade the level of security. That's why we granted the extension to complete the 717 contract".

"That's why we untangled the Gordian link and chose for the projects to proceed decisively and to finish and not to remain stagnant..." Mr. Karamanlis also noted.

"As far as these systems are concerned, they would clearly contribute to increasing safety, but there was no certainty that they would prevent the accident, because these systems are also operated by people," he stressed.

"Because in order for trains to be safe, even more important than any kind of technology, there is one thing: that their traffic regulations be reverently respected", Mr. Karamanlis continued and added: "This General Operating Regulation, therefore, was unfortunately violated consecutively that fateful night. This is the reality. And such violations of the General Operating Regulations, no completion of the 717 could overcome them."

He also estimated that "this must finally be heard, because the Greek people and especially the families who were so unfairly affected by this tragedy, have the right to know it" and closed his introductory statement by underlining "our debt, the truth. Our obligation, honesty and to leave expediencies aside".