Marfin: The Time for Justice Is Approaching

Although more than 10 years, the crime committed at the Marfin bank branch, on Stadiou Street in Athens, has not been forgotten. Greek authorities are said to be close to arresting those responsible for the deaths of three employees, one of whom was pregnant, from the smoke from a fire that was set in the building where they worked.

That photo of victims on the balcony of the bank, surrounded by smoke, with the fire burning behind them, will remain indelible in my memory.

I wrote on May 8, 2020:

"I will never forget the spectacle I saw … a burned building … and in front of it, on the sidewalk, a mountain of flowers with several condolence notes. I stood on the opposite sidewalk and looked … People stopped, dropped off their flowers, bowed their heads respectfully, some wiped their tears, and others, including children, left a piece of paper or wrote something, touching the flowers reverently, and then they left … I stood there for quite some time. Finally, when I went across, I made the sign of the cross. I clutched the flowers I was holding. I read as many condolences as I could. One was more moving than the other.”

“Ten years after the tragedy, an event was held in their memory in the presence of the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister, and a plaque was erected on the site where the three Greeks were killed. Although they were invited, Alexis Tsipras from the radical left SYRIZA party, Dimitris Koutsoumbas from the KKE communists, and Giannis Varoufakis of the leftist MeRA25, announced that they would not attend. Does it surprise you?”

"What the Prime Minister is doing," I continued in my commentary, "is an important, symbolic, and substantive act.”

But the state still has a great responsibility to finally arrest the killers of these innocent people.

It will not be that difficult. Certainly the earth did not swallow them up. There will definitely be some medium – a  video or some other surveillance that will show who they are.

It is a matter of law. But above all, it is a matter of principle.

No state, for any reason, can allow criminals to roam free. But that is a political decision.

And so, as it seems, the time is approaching for them to be arrested.

And that's extremely important in and of itself. But it is also important because it shows something about the change in the country's political climate, as well as in the seriousness of the authorities.


As the eyes of the world are – justifiably – focused on the crisis in Ukraine, a decision taken by the Biden administration may not make the front page of the newspapers, but it will have significant consequences in the United States, as well as in many other countries around the world, including Greece and Cyprus.

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