The commemoration of the 10-year anniversary of the firebomb attack on a branch of Marfin Bank in central Athens which led to the deaths of three people was a source of political tensions and partisan rhetoric on Wednesday.
A case in point was the acrimony between the government and main opposition SYRIZA after the public invitation extended on Wednesday by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to party leaders to attend the unveiling of a commemorative plaque at noon on Saturday outside the building which housed the bank that was torched on Stadiou Street.
“I urge the leaders of all parliamentary parties to be present. Let’s leave behind the era of division and violence with a symbolic but self-evident act of unity,” Mitsotakis tweeted, referring to the ceremony marking the incident that took place during a violent anti-austerity protest on May 5, 2010.
The first snub came from SYRIZA, dismissing the government’s move as a publicity stunt, and announcing that it will lay a wreath at the site at 9.30 a.m. on Saturday, two-and-a-half hours before the ceremony scheduled by Mitsotakis.
In a statement it criticized Mitsotakis for choosing to “put at the helm of the Citizens’ Protection Ministry the same people who handled the case at the time, who had never identified the perpetrators or brought them to justice,” in an apparent reference to Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis.
In a similar vein, communist KKE said its representatives will lay a wreath at 10.30 a.m., insisting there is no need for “governmental fiestas.”
For her part, Movement for Change (KINAL) leader Fofi Gennimata accepted the PM’s invitation.