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Marfin Bank a year later

05 May 2011 / 20:05:10  GRReporter
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From early morning Stadiou Street in downtown Athens has become a place of worship. Relatives, colleagues and ordinary citizens placed flowers in front of the building that housed a branch of Marfin Bank a year ago to pay tribute to the memory of Paraskevi Zouliya, Angeliki Papatanasopoulou and Epaminondas Tsakalis who lost their lives there.
 
On the 5th of May, 2010 Greece was in the grip of a general strike. It was the first response of the Greek society, which several days earlier had learned that after the signing of the Memorandum of financial support with the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the European Central Bank, stringent economic measures would be taken in the country.

The procession, which was attended by tens of thousands of people, was spectacular. Even the media were on strike, but all of a sudden they had to break their silence. The news that anarchists set fire to the Bank and that there might be victims horrified the Greek society. A few hours later all watched in the news broadcasts how the employees of Marfin Bank tried to escape the flames and the thick black smoke. Three of them were not able to reach the balcony in time and lost their lives due to suffocation. The whole world learned the news.

Today was a day off for the employees of Marfin Bank as a sign of mourning for their colleagues. The 23 employees of the subsidiary on Stadiou Street celebrated a memorial service in the Church on Eolou Street and then headed to the building where they had worked until the 5th of May last year. They put flowers and stepped aside, and the discussion in the small groups revolved around the tragic events a year earlier.

There were flowers, lit candles, wreaths and children's drawings from the nephews for the unborn child of Angeliki Papatanasopoulou, who was in her fourth month of pregnancy. Her relatives came a little later, placed flowers and stood on the sidewalk. Some of her colleagues stuck on the metal fence around the building an "open letter" on behalf of her family titled "365 days".

The text reads: "365 days without Angeliki. Empty times without joy. Instead of meeting our new member, our family was trying to realize the loss, to accept the fact that such a nice person perished along with her successor in such a violent and unjust way. Death and the violence that caused it is a very hard opponent."

Тhe letter raised a number of questions below. "Back in the desert of those 365 days there are only questions. Who stretched out their hands and threw the Molotov bombs? When they will find them? Why is this silence? How much courage an employer needs to request an apology and assume its responsibility, especially after the report of the Labour Inspection, which reveled a lack of security measures? Why no public authority called on the phone to inform, answer, or at least to comfort a family that orphaned, without any guilt?" The family, however, points out that the capture of the four suspects in connection with the attack in the bank "bare the hope that justice will finally be able to restore the imbalance that was caused by this unconscious criminal act."

Meanwhile, it became clear that the two youths suspected for involvement in the attack on the bank have requested 48-hour delay to give testimony about the events. They appeared separately in the building of the civilian police and requested a copy of the police report. Another two youths are expected to testify tomorrow who are believed to have carried out the attack on the Yanos bookshop opposite Marfin Bank on Stadiou Street.

A book entitled "Political violence is always fascist" was presented at the bookshop today. "The tragedy on the 5th of May, 2010 when three employees of Marfin Bank on Stadiou Street lost their lives due to the actions of fashistoids who broke the great procession against the complete surrender of our country to the "multinational" band of the "markets," and the murder of the 15-year-old Afghan Hami Najafi by a bomb explosion, the perpetrators of which are still unknown to this day have become the occasion to unite our voices in a single edition, entitled "Political violence is always fascist" wrote the 22 authors of the book in the preface.

At the beginning of the presentation the director Yanos Vassilis Hadziyakovou turned to the audience by saying: "This place was, is and will always be open to all ideas except those considered dangerous. Such ideas have never found a place here and because the people who give birth to such dangerous ideas know this we have become a target. When the Conscious objectors held their event here, and when we held different events for immigrants. We certainly do not fear anyone and will continue to host all ideas."

Even before the discussion about the book some of the audience felt the need to specify that they are against attacks on bookshops, "regardless of their ideological orientation. Even those that offer far-right literature must exist."

А rally marking the anniversary of the attack on Marfin Bank was held by the members of the not represented in Parliament Democratic Left, who stretched a panel at the opposite sidewalk and put flowers later. A large part of the colleagues of the victims commented negatively the activities of the party, which according to them, are in the search for political gain.

Tags: SocietyMarfin BankVictimsCapturedAttacksBombsMolotovProcession
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