ATHENS – A plaque commemorating three victims of a firebombing in the Greek capital in 2010 – one of them a pregnant woman – was smashed by unknown vandals.
The three, bank workers, were killed by a firebomb thrown through the glass front window during violent anti-austerity demonstrations with reports that the crowd kept away firefighters trying to reach them on a second-story balcony as they died.
A piece of the plaque was destroyed, discovered by passersby although it’s on one of the busiest streets in the city and near where a famous theater was also burned down, the perpetrators getting away.
Minister of State Akis Skertsos condemned the vandalism in a post on social media and said the plaque would be replaced immediately – and “every day if necessary,” to deter ideas of further vandalism.
The incident came a month after Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and other officials paid tribute to the victims in the first major protest after Greece signed the first of three bailouts that brought harsh austerity measures.
Describing them as “victims of blind fanaticism and ideological violence” in a statement by her office, she laid flowers on the plaque erected in the memory of Epameinondas Tsakalis, 36, Paraskevi Zoulia, 32, and Angeliki Papathanasopoulou, 32, at the spot where they died on Stadiou Street.
No one has been convicted for the attack despite vows by governments to find out who did it before running away, their heads and faces covered to cover their identity, police still at a dead end.
The plague also refers to the fact that Papathanasopoulou was pregnant when she died after becoming trapped, with her colleagues, in the smoking building, haunting scenes of her trapped on the balcony.
“We will not forget the 4 lives that were lost,” Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said in a post on Twitter.
“Angeliki’s unborn child would have been 12 today. It would have been in middle school, reading and playing. We will not forget them, like we will not forget Epameinondas and Paraskevi. We will not forget any of the victims of Marfin so unjustly lost on that cursed day,” Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis said in a post.