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Bulgarians and Greeks are helping Kostadinka Kuneva in Paris

17 March 2014 / 13:03:35  GRReporter
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The trade unionist from Bulgaria is living in one of the working-class blocks of flats near La Defense station in the Nanterre suburb in Paris, as reported by Greek daily Kathimerini. Kostadinka Kuneva is in the French capital, where she is continuing the treatment of the severe damage caused by the attack with acid on her on 22 December 2008. The edition states that this was one of the most serious crimes in Greece and that its perpetrators have not yet been found, despite the prize announced and the reconsideration of the case by the investigating authorities.

Kostadinka is in Paris together with her child thanks to all who have helped her financially in recent years. She is still the same humble person, giving lessons in dignity, writes author of the article Christina Kopsini who asks what it is to live in a block of flats with hundreds of other people from around the world who are afraid to communicate with each other. "We are a little lonely, but we are doing well," Kostadinka replies. "We know how to protect ourselves," she answers the question as to how she protects herself from the drug dealers who ring the doorbell as ordinary carriers of flyers.

Kostadinka and her son are living in the building right next to La Defense metro station, Photo: kathimerini.gr

But this is only one side of Kostadinka Kuneva’s life in Paris. The other is filled with the support of the French union CGT and many of her Greek and Bulgarian friends like Grigoris, Christos, Irini who are helping her establish contacts with doctors and hospitals. Precisely for these specialized doctors Kuneva has started a long journey in Europe. Her son is now a secondary school student and they are trying to have a normal daily life in France.

A meeting at the headquarters of the major French union CGT on 27 February leaves no doubt about the respect for Kostadinka, continues Kathimerini journalist. Its members consider the violence against her as another expression of racism that cleverly hides behind the slogans of extreme Eurosceptics in Greece. The municipality in Nanterre and union members have helped Kuneva establish in the suburbs, in the smallest details, even with the removal of furniture. "I have everything," she is firm.

"This is the most difficult case I have faced," says the plastic surgeon who has begun a series of operations of Kostadinka’s face. "The difficulties are not associated with the face injuries but with the internal damage to the oesophagus, stomach and abdomen, caused by the acid," says Dr. Darina Krastinova who arrived in Paris 30 years ago, travelling "third class on the Orient Express." For years, she was working at a university hospital and, today, although retired, she is working at a large private clinic in Versailles, where the most important operations for the recovery of Kostadinka Kuneva’s face will be performed.

At the same time, the woman whose name is associated with the most inhuman "revenge" because she dared to fight for some basic rights of the people working in the field of cleaning does not share any prejudice and a desire for revenge. She awaits the final decisions of the Court of Appeal, not losing hope that "sometime in the future, the attackers will be identified and convicted for their crimes."

The trial related with the attack on Kostadinka Kuneva, which was initiated by a complaint filed by her former employer, "Ikomet" company, will begin on 5 June.

The court decided in the first-instance proceedings that the company had been negligent for not changing Kostadinka’s shifts despite the indications that her life was in danger.

Tags: Crime newsKostadinka KunevaTrade unionistAttackAcidFranceOperations
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