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Greece does not forget Kouneva!

23 February 2009 / 18:02:47  GRReporter
3418 reads

Marina Nikolova

The murder attempt over the 44 year old Konstantina Kouneva shook the Greek community, entered the global news, and awoke employees of the job inspectorate. Despite the response of the society, there are still no results from the police investigation, which were promised by the Internal Affairs Minister Prokopsis Pavlopoulos one month ago.

What happened in the night of December 22nd 2008? Why the police do not visit Kouneva in the hospital for five days after the attack, in order to gather her jacket, which was swamped with vitriol and also to take her phone? Why didn’t the Ministry of Internal Affairs announce any details about the investigation? Questions, which need to be answered, because otherwise “Greece will start looking like Columbia, where there are murder attempts against syndicate members and the criminals are never found.” This was said by the chairman of the opposition Party “Coalition of the Radical Leftists” Alexis Tzipras.

Last week’s news is that two of the most influential Parties – PASOK and Coalition of the Radical Leftists showed their intentions to include Konstantina Kouneva in their bulletins for the Euro-elections. Geogios Papandreou’s Party also offered her Greek citizenship. To the offers to become a Europe Parliament member Konstantina replied: “I will not become a candidate for member of neither Party for the Euro-elections.” To her followers, she sent the following message: “I love you and I am thanking you for everything. Never stop!”

The attack against Konstantina happened at a time of everyday demonstrations in the country because of the murder of the 16 year old Alexis Grigoropoulos. At the same time a shipping magnate was kidnapped for ransom. And the icing on the cake was the global economic crisis. Everyone in Greece was shocked by realizing their own insecurity. One thing after another were happening – abductions, demonstrations, and violence from anonymous criminals and from the authorities in the case of Alexis.

Now, when elections are discussed – European as well as governmental, the Parties are trying to attract Konstantina on their side. This woman became a symbol of moral strength. Not only because of what was done to her but also because of her character and will power afterwards. She is alive and conscious and has strength – strength to continue her own path, to refuse the offer of the Parties and to insist that the crime against her was not personal.

What did she achieve? First – the media started talking about the control under which firms execute governmental offers for cleaning public buildings and grounds. The systematic violation of the cleaner’s work rights and the ancient work conditions in certain fields became a main topic in the media. But the facts are that only once a check-up was done – the metro station in Pieria and from then on, no information was given about undertaken acts.

Kouneva’s colleague said that “actually it is a big thing to clean for people.” Obviously the metro cleaning personnel is not ashamed of their profession anymore - mistake, not by the profession but because of the fact that they are forced to tolerate the irresponsibility of their employers. Now, those women have a voice and a face. All this thanks to a very sympathetic, careful, calm and cheerful woman. Meanwhile, the demonstrations in support of Kotze, as her closest ones call her, continue.

Here you can find:

Demonstrations report from the end of January, done by TV without borders: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUPaz0uIwwE&NR=1

Konstantina Kouneva’s talking to a Belgian journalist – an interview, which was done about a month before the attack against her. This interview becomes evidence that Konstantina had received life threats due to her syndicate activity: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EodQd-bJ_y4&feature=related

Two TV shows, belonging to famous Greek journalists – Alexis Papahelas and Pavlos Tzimas, undertake the task to try and find out what happened on December 22nd.

Papahelas’ show – “The Folders” (http://www.skai.gr/master_avod.php?id=110287) tells the story of Konstantina – how she came to Greece in 2001, because her little boy has a heart condition and needed surgery. How her mother worked as a maid for old people but when Konstantina came, they moved together to a small apartment…how bright she is, how her boy means everything to her, what hardships they had to go through. “She does everything, in order for the little one to be OK and to have good education – she bought him a computer, signed him up for piano lessons in the public school of the municipality,” says Todor Popov.

Close people to her from Veliko Tarnovo, her mother Elena Decheva, her close friend Todor Popov, her colleague Maya Dicheva, as well as the syndicate chairwoman Vlasia Papatanasi – every one of them add something to the image of Konstantina from their stories. A strong woman, who “that night paid for her hope to change the world,” says Alexis Papahelas in the film about Konstantinka.

In his program “Investigation,” the journalist Pavlos Tzimas raises the question “If Kouneva is a mirror, then what is our image, which it reflects?”

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