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Plaque to honor the three victims of Marfin bank tragedy one decade later

The political leadership of the country gathered in downtown Athens to Saturday to unveil a plaque commemorating the tragic deaths of three Marfin Bank employees and an unborn child, all killed in a fire set by rioters on May 5, 2010.

The President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and leader of opposition party Movement for Change (KINAL) Fofi Gennimata participated in the commemoration ceremony held outside the bank on Stadiou Avenue near Omonia Square.

The plaque reads “In this building on 5 May 2010 murdered were Paraskevi Zoulia, pregnant Angeliki Papathanasopoulou, Epaminondas Tsakalis, victims of the blind hatred born of division. We honor their memory. Never again. May 2020.”

It is the least homage that was due to them and “important for the country,” said the President expressing hope that Greece will never live through similar events.

The prime minister noted that “the symbolism of today’s action is absolutely clear and unambiguous. The country must never again become a victim of blind division, hatred, or violence, which can never be excused no matter what its origin.”
Mitsotakis added that the state had an obligation to honor the memory of the Marfin dead and to do whatever was necessary in order to “finally close this chapter, not end on a semi-colon.”

However, the arsonists were never found.

32-year-old Angeliki Papathanasopoulou, 32, Epaminondas Tsakalis, 36, and Paraskevi Zoulia, 35, were working in the bank on Stadiou Street with another 25-30 colleagues while a protest against austerity measures was underway.

Unidentified rioters threw fire bombs into the bank and started a fire while people were still inside. Most managed to escape, the fire brigades rescued five people.

But the three victims were trapped and died of smoke inhalation.

In 2013, a court ruled three executives of Marfin Bank were guilty of manslaughter as the bank did not have adequate fire protection measures.

In 2016, a trail was held against a man suspected to be one of the rioters who fired the molotov cocktail bombs. He was acquitted of charges.

On the 10th anniversary of the victims’ death, on 6. May 2020, Minister for Citizens protection, Michalis Chrysochoidis ordered the re-opening of the case file in an effort to find the culprits. Note that Chrysochoidis was minister on the same post when the tragedy took place a decade earlier, however, under a PASOK-led government.

Worth noting is also that PM Mitsotakis had instructed in November 2019, the citizen protection ministry and the labour ministry to appeal against a court ruling that had awarded 2.24 million euros compensation to the families of the victims.

The state withdrew its claim one day before the plaque ceremony, just because a newspaper revealed the issue.

Laying a wreath before the official ceremony on Saturday, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras accused the Prime Minister of “hypocrisy.”

Also Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Dimitris Koutsoumbas paid his tribute off the official event.

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One comment

  1. Good example of social distancing. Bad examples from politicians will only lead to the public following their example.