State to pay damages to families of Marfin Bank victims, PM’s office says


The Greek state will not appeal against a lower court ruling that awarded damages totalling 2.24 million euros to the families of the victims of a firebomb attack on a branch of Marfin Bank in central Athens ten years ago.

The decision was taken by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis as “the minimum moral obligation” towards the victims and their families, his office announced on Friday.

This means that the relatives of the victims will be able to collect the amount of compensation awarded by the court.

Athens' Administrative Court of Appeal had recognizing in four rulings in 2018 the civil liability of the State and awarded compensation of 25,000 to 300,000 euros to the plaintiffs – the families of the victims and 24 bank employees.

Mitsotakis will unveil on Saturday a plaque commemorating the victims.

Despite an invitation by the prime minister to party leaders to attend the ceremony, opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras called the initiative a publicity stunt by the government and said he will lay a wreath earlier at the site of the tragedy.

Epameinondas Tsakalis, 36, Paraskevi Zoulia, 32, Angeliki Papathanasopoulou, 32, and her unborn baby died of smoke inhalation on May 5, 2010, after becoming trapped in the Stadiou Street branch of Marfin Bank that was firebombed by anti-austerity rioters who had targeted several businesses in the area.

It is standard practice of the authorities to appeal against any lower court rulings that are negative for the State.