NEW YORK – The board of the Panepirotic Federation unanimously agreed to give a grant of $5,000 to the 13 year-old daughter of the young ethnic Greek who was killed in a shootout with Albanian police last October 28, according to the Federation’s president, Nicholas Gage.
“The killing of Konstantinos Katsifas during Oxi Day celebrations in Northern Epiros was tragic and a full and transparent investigation must be conducted to find out what happened,” Mr. Gage said, “but we must think of the young daughter he left behind and try help her.”
Mr. Gage said he will go to Ioannina later this month and give the grant to the young girl, Vasiliki Katsifas, and her grandmother, who has been helping to raise her since the divorce of her parents several years ago. “We will try to raise more funds for young Vasiliki in the future and urge the Greek government to award her free entrance to a state university when she finishes her secondary education,” Mr. Gage said.
Her father, Konstantinos Katsifas, 35, fired at police vehicles after Albanian officers took down a Greek flag that he had raised at a cemetery for Greek soldiers killed fighting Fascist forces at the outbreak of World War II near the town of Vouliarati in Northern Epiros.
He then fled to the nearby hills and Albanian police launched a massive manhunt to track him down. They claim that when they cornered him and asked him to surrender, he fired at them and they shot him dead.
Mr. Gage said the Albanian explanation was hard to accept considering how many ethnic Greeks have been falsely imprisoned, beaten, harassed and killed in the past.