There's massive outcry in Greece over the deaths of three bank employees killed during protests in Athens. Many people are getting increasingly frustrated with protesting anarchists, but now there's news the bank's management be equally responsible.
Three die in Athens riots or Three die after Greek protesters firebomb bank. These were familiar headlines on May 5. Reports indicate hooded youth, violent riots, anarchists or militants are the culprits whose actions cost two females and one male bank employee their lives.
While it remains to be seen who actually set the bank on fire, an eyewitness from inside the bank has now come forward with a shocking revelation.
Protests being held in Athens have made the Greek capital look like a battleground, with fire breaking out in many places and streets filling with smoke. Attacks have been made on many businesses and at least 10 banks. Three people were killed at one particular branch of the Marfin Egnatia Bank, a disaster that has been called a true Greek tragedy.
A recollection of events and thoughts on what caused the deaths were published on SocialistWorker.co.uk. An article on that site starts out by saying:
I feel an obligation toward my co-workers who have so unjustly died today to speak out and to say some objective truths. I am sending this message to all media outlets. Anyone who still bares some consciousness should publish it. The rest can continue to play the government’s game.
What follows is an amazing story of an allegedly tyrannical branch manager and criticism of the Greek system itself, where it seems rather normal that rules are only in place in order to be circumvented.
To keep a long story short, the major points of his testimony consist of the following:
The building had no clearance by the fire-department, as all business buildings are supposed to have. In fact, the business is accused of having no license at all. There were very few fire safety precautions in place, and there were no ceiling sprinklers or fire hoses. There was only a few portable fire extinguishers and not one of the bank's employees had ever been given any instruction or training on how to deal with a fire.
As to the personnel and the manager: The witness says several workers asked to be allowed to leave because of the protest (before the fire broke out), but their requests were denied and the doors were locked, preventing anyone from leaving or entering.
Later on in the day, Internet access was blocked so employees were unable to communicate with the outside world.
In anticipation of problems during the previously announced strike and protests, Marfin management had apparently promised to have two police officers present on May 5. However, none showed up.
Last but not least: Although it was a nation-wide general strike, all employees had been warned that anyone not coming to work on this day, would no longer have a job.
The post on SocialistWorker.co.uk is only one man's story and an investigation has yet to occur to verify these facts. In the meantime, however, the Greek bank workers' union, OTOE, has publicly asked for severe punishment of Marfin Egnatia Bank's management.
The Egnatia Bank is part of the Greek Marfin Investment Group, in which the Dubai Group has a 35 percent stake.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com