With its reactions to the revelatory report by Vasilis Lambropoulos in TO BHMA, the government has succeeded in adding three more questions about the Tempi rail accident and its handling to the ever-growing list.

1) Who is responsible for editing and leaking the OSE audio recordings?

The first question is the obvious one: Who is responsible for leaking the edited exchanges removed from the OSE’s recording system?

The one positive here (how low we’ve sunk!) is that neither the leak nor the manipulation to which the article in TO BHMA drew the public’s attention are disputed by the government. They have chosen to downplay its importance instead, as something that was “already known”. The bitter truth is that our government has not revealed itself to be particularly sensitive when it comes to personal data and conversations protected under privacy laws. But even a first-year law student could spot the problem with this line of defense. The recordings in question were evidence relating to the circumstances of the accident. And two days before the preliminary hearing, someone took, modified and leaked the material. We can only speculate as to the aim of the leak. However, the edited recording was used to allow public statements to be made about a tragedy that was due entirely to “human error”.

It should be noted at this point that the OSE recording system is closed and guarded.

Even the company’s CEO himself, Panagiotis Terezakis, in his testimony to the Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry, was careful to point out that “not just anyone can copy the recordings”; even he had to visit the facility with authorized employees to remove the material from the system.

Mr. Terezakis testified to the inquiry that on March 1, 2023, just a few hours after the accident, he called the Greek Police to the OSE offices and went with an investigating officer and “authorized person” to the place where the audio files from the recording system are kept. He then claimed to have handed the files containing the exchanges between the stationmaster and the train driver over to the officer.

But these facts are disputed. Not by just anyone, but by the Hellenic Police itself, both in the TO BHMA article and in the official statement it issued in the wake of its publication. The Police say they did not actually go to pick up the recorded exchanges, but that the files were delivered to them at their headquarters on March 3. This was publicly confirmed in the statement the Police issued on the TO BHMA report. A document confirms that the delivery to the Police was made at 2 pm on March 3 by the employee N.K. who works in the OSE’s Electromechanical Systems and Electrification Maintenance Department.

And yet, instead of the government and/or the OSE providing some sort of explanation and telling us what action they’ll be taking to shed light on the illegal leak, they chose to attack the media and shadowy “interests” that are never named but are timeless and go with everything—like Coca Cola. And Cabinet ministers put up banners announcing things that are under investigation by the judiciary. With the Minister for Justice among them.

2) What happened to the call for applications for new OSE management?

The second question concerns Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the silent co-star in this tale of leaky organizations: Panagiotis Terezakis. Not as an individual, obviously, but as the CEO of OSE. Why is he still in the role when it was announced long ago that he was to be replaced?

A few days after the accident, the Prime Minister stated, and in the sternest of tones, that a call had been made for applications for OSE management roles.

What he actually said was this: “Do you believe that there are many—I mean serious private sector managers—who are willing to take over such an organization, which may pay less than what a CEO in the Greek Public Sector receives? If we want to be completely honest and want to lay claim to talented executives and want to proceed with an open call—which we did just now for the positions at OSE and ERGOSE—will we need to accept that we will have to pay more in the Greek Public Sector, without risking accusations from the Opposition that we are appointing golden boys?”

For 13 months now, however, the “transitional” government appointee, Mr. Terezakis, has remained at the head of the OSE administration. What’s more, he has now been exposed by the Hellenic Police’s published refutation of his testimony before Parliament—and note, it was a testimony, not some simple statement.

3) Why did the government lose its cool?

The third question arises directly from the government’s reaction to the revelations: Why the total lack of composure?

After all, despite the hammering it has received in the polls, in the absence of a viable alternative (for now, at least), the government maintains a clear political lead.

And even its sworn enemies recognize its communicational capabilities.

So why, instead of greeting the revelations made by TO BHMA with equanimity and pledging, as it always does, to “shed abundant light on the matter” and so on and so forth, did the government launch such a frenzied attack on the newspaper and the ethics of its journalists? What was different this time around?

No one is expecting an answer to that last question. It’s left to the imagination of each and every one of us.