Greece marked the 10-year anniversary of one of the worse violent acts in recent years on Tuesday, when three bank employees died in a firebomb attack during an anti-austerity riot in downtown Athens.
President Katerina Sakellaropoulou said in a tweet: “Three human lives were sacrificed at the altar of bigotry and division. We honor their memory and hope that our country never again experiences outbursts of extreme polarization and blind violence,” Sakellaropoulou said in a tweet.
Δέκα χρόνια από την τραγωδία της #marfin. Τρείς ανθρώπινες ζωές θυσία στον βωμό της μισαλλοδοξίας και του διχασμού. Τιμούμε τη μνήμη τους και εύχομαι να μην ξαναζήσουμε ποτέ στη χώρα μας εκδηλώσεις ακραίας πόλωσης και τυφλής βίας.
— President GR (@PresidencyGR) May 5, 2020
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also referred to the incident, in which the three employees became trapped in the burning building housing Marfin Bank on the city’s downtown Stadiou Street on May 5, 2010. It was the worst riot to rock Greece after it signed its first bailout deal with international creditors.
10 χρόνια μετά, τιμούμε τη μνήμη της Παρασκευής Ζούλια, του Επαμεινώνδα Τσακάλη και της εγκύου Αγγελικής Παπαθανασοπούλου. Αθώοι συμπολίτες μας, που τους στέρησε τη ζωή η τυφλή βία και ο διχασμός. Μία πλακέτα στο κτίριο της φωτιάς και του μίσους θα πολεμά τη λήθη. #Marfin pic.twitter.com/A2pcOWDJwd
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) May 5, 2020
The Greek PM described the victims as “innocent compatriots whose lives were taken… by the Molotov cocktails of hooded [rioters],” and said that a commemorative plaque would be installed at the site of the incident, “as a call to unity and democratic vigilance.”
Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias also took to Twitter in tribute of the “four lives lost,” a reference to 32-year-old victim Angeliki Papathansopoulou, who was four months pregnant at the time of her death.
The other two victims were Paraskevi Zoulia, aged 34, and Epameinondas Tsakalis, 36.
Dendias described the four firebombing deaths as a “crime that rocked the country.”