Victims of protest violence commemorated 10 years later

A plaque commemorating three Greek bank employees who died of asphyxiation when their workplace was firebombed during a protest march 10 years ago has been unveiled in Athens

ATHENS, Greece — A plaque commemorating three bank employees who died of asphyxiation when their workplace was firebombed during a protest march 10 years ago was unveiled in Athens Saturday.

Many officials, led by Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, attended the ceremony. Leaders of two leftist parties, Syriza and the Communist Party, had laid wreaths on the site in central Athens earlier.

The three employees, a man and two women, all in their 30s, died on May 5, 2010, when the Marfin Bank branch in central Athens was firebombed by anarchists taking part in a large protest march against the first austerity agreement Greece had signed with its creditors just days earlier. One of the victims was four months pregnant.

The fire spread quickly and, although most employees made it out safely, some were trapped inside. Those who made it onto balconies found that many in the crowd below were shouting for them to burn for having shown up for work despite a call for a general strike. Firefighters could only get in after considerable delay, while journalists outside the burning building were attacked by anarchists calling them provocateurs for reporting casualties.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced earlier this week the reopening into an inquiry on the incident, for which no one has been charged. He also announced that the state is abandoning its appeal against the 2.4 million euros awarded to the families of the victims in compensation.



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