Come next week, we’ll be turning the page. Other news items have already begun creeping into the headlines. About Kardashian, Madonna, the princes of England… All of which act as a pacifier, creating for a brief moment of time the illusion that life is devoid of problems beyond the false dramas of these people. And that’s very convenient. It enables those who govern us to continue their work without a care. But we must not forget. Not only for the dozens of victims of this unspeakable tragedy, but for all of us. So that we can feel safe when [our lives are] placed in the hands of others. On the train, on the plane, in the operating room, in the classroom… Greece is not the only country affected by what happened. Not only because we lost two of our own children, but because our system suffers from the same pathologies.

There may be an attempt at the moment to put the blame on the stationmaster who made the fatal mistake – and the responsibility was indeed his – but the information coming out exposes the flimsiness of the foundations on which societies like the Greek one and ours are built. The man in question, 59 years old, had begun working at OSE [Hellenic Railways Organisation] as a porter. A decade ago, as part of a reorganisation programme within the Organisation, he was transferred to another public body, namely the Ministry of Education, though what his post and duties were are not known.  A year ago, he returned to the Railways Organisation, and after a swift training period – of six months – he took up the post of stationmaster at Larissa. A post which, according to the details of the vacancy, required that candidates be no more than 42 years of age. For Larissa, reports say, there were two vacancies: one for the post of stationmaster that required prior experience, and one for which no prior experience was required. The man in question had experience, but as a porter. He was nevertheless given a position of enormous responsibility. What counted, what qualifications were deemed sufficient, who mediated, what backing did he have? And are all these people sleeping soundly today? Is he the only one responsible?

It’s not enough that such a serious responsibility was entrusted to a single person, they also did not make sure that this person had, at the very least, the formal qualifications. It’s not enough that billions were lost without modernising the railways, it was also left up to one man, with the qualifications of a porter, to control the movement of trains loaded with people who do not know that staying alive is a matter of luck, but sometimes luck is not enough.