"Call me when you arrive", a maternal message that became a slogan for angry Greeks

"Call me when you arrive"

"Call me when you arrive", a maternal message that became a slogan for angry Greeks

"Call me when you arrive". This message sent by many Greek mothers to their children when they travel has become the slogan of angry protesters after the train collision that left 57 dead, including many young people.

In the processions that marched across the country on Wednesday, banners displayed this sentence which spread like wildfire on social networks in the hours following the train accident on the evening of February 28.

In Athens, angry youths also chanted, "Send me a message when you arrive. You never arrived. We'll avenge you, kid."

Within days, "Call me when you arrive" became the outraged Greece's equivalent of "I can't breathe", the slogan that emerged in the United States after the May 2020 death of African-American George Floyd, choked under the knee of a white police officer.

In a country where the family is a strong marker of society, "Call me when you arrive" sums up "the mentality of parents in Greece, in particular of the mother who worries about whether her child is well", explains AFP Pinelopi Horianopoulou, a fifty-year-old mother of two, municipal employee, met Wednesday in the Athens demonstration.

"This is the message that all mothers in Greece are sending," said Giota Tavoulari, 58, of the pharmacists' union. This slogan is "used everywhere because it is quite significant: these children will not see their families again because governments, companies have not taken care" of rail safety systems.

In many schools, primary, middle and high school students have placed dozens of backpacks on the ground in such a way as to form this message "pare me nato phtasis", "call me when you arrive" sometimes also declined to "send me a message when you arrive".

Many of the victims of this "national tragedy", as the Greek authorities called it, were students returning to Thessaloniki, the major university city in the north of the country, after a long weekend.

Greek media claimed that this message was based on the testimony of a victim's mother claiming to have received a phone call from her 23-year-old son who was traveling on the Athens-Thessaloniki train.

“Mom, there are too many people on the train. I have never seen such a crowded train. .

In Patras, a university town in the Peloponnese (southwest), the protesters placed at the head of the procession an installation resembling a coffin topped with black balloons and this poster. "Mom, I have arrived".

08/03/2023 16:55:01 - Athens (AFP) - © 2023 AFP