« Je me sens dans une obligation envers mes collègues qui sont décédé si injustement aujourd’hui à parler et à dire quelques vérités objectives. J’envoie ce message à tous les médias. Toute personne qui possède encore une certaine conscience devra le publier. Les autres peuvent continuer à jouer le jeu du gouvernement. »

Dans cette lettre, l’employé déclare que « les pompiers n’ont jamais délivré la licence d’exploitation de l’immeuble », que « le bâtiment en question n’a pas de mécanismes de sécurité incendie » correspondant à sa taille (gicleurs au plafond, issues de secours, tuyaux d’incendie). « Il y a seulement quelques extincteurs portatifs qui, bien entendu, ne peuvent en rien aider à combattre un feu important dans un bâtiment construit avec des normes de sécurité depuis longtemps dépassées. La direction utilise également le coût élevé de ces exercices comme prétexte et n’a même pas pris les mesures les plus élémentaires pour protéger son personnel. »

Il souligne aussi qu’aucun membre du personnel n’a été formé au risque d’incendie, qu’il n’y a jamais eu d’exercice d’évacuation. « Les seules sessions de formation qui ont eu lieu à la Marfin Bank ont été sur des scénarios concernant l’action terroriste et en particulier la planification de l’évacuation des « grosses têtes » de leurs bureaux dans une telle situation. »

Absence de local incendie, matériaux inflammables (papiers, plastiques, fils, mobilier…). « Aucun membre de la sécurité n’avait la moindre connaissance sur les premiers secours à donner ou comment éteindre un feu. »

Par ailleurs, « la direction de la banque a formellement interdit aux salariés de s’absenter aujourd’hui, bien qu’ils l’aient demandé constamment eux-mêmes très tôt ce matin – tandis qu’elle a aussi forcé les salariés à verrouiller les portes et a confirmé à plusieurs reprises par téléphone que l’établissement restait fermé pendant la journée. “Ceux qui partent aujourd’hui, ne viennent pas au travail demain”, a été une menace constante. La direction leur a même fermé leur accès à Internet afin d’empêcher les salariés de communiquer avec le monde extérieur. »

La lettre dit aussi qu’ au cours des derniers jours qui ont précédé la grève générale, la direction n’a cessé de terroriser les employés en utilisant oralement l’“offre” suivante : ou vous venez travailler, ou vous êtes virés.

« Enfin, messieurs, faites votre autocritique et cessez de faire semblant d’être choqués. Vous êtes responsables de ce qui s’est passé aujourd’hui, et dans n’importe quel Etat de droit (comme ceux que vous souhaitez utiliser de temps en temps comme les meilleurs exemples dans vos émissions de télévision) vous auriez déjà été arrêtés pour les actions ci-dessus. Mes collègues ont perdu la vie aujourd’hui par préméditation : la préméditation de la Marfin Bank et de M. Vgenopoulos en personne qui a explicitement déclaré que quiconque ne venait travailler aujourd’hui [le 5 mai, journée de grève générale !], n’avait pas à se déranger le lendemain [où ils seraient renvoyés]. »

Signé : un employé de la Marfin Bank

An employee of the burnt bank speaks out on tonight’s tragic deaths in Athens – please spread

Tonight’s tragic deaths in Athens leave little space for comments – we are all very shocked and deeply saddened by the events. To those (on the “Occupied London” blog even) who speculate that the deaths might have been caused purposefully by anarchists, we can only reply the following : we do not take to the streets, we do not risk our freedom and our lives confronting the greek police in order to kill other people. Anarchists are not murderers, and no brainwashing attempted by Greek PM Papandreou, the national or the international media should convince anyone otherwise.

That being said, and with developments still running frantically, we want to publish a rough translation of a statement by an employee of Marfin Bank – the bank whose branch was set alight in Athens today, where the three employees found a tragic death.

Read the letter, translate it, spread it around to your networks ; grassroots counter-information has a crucial role to play at a moment when the greek state and corporate media are leashing out on the anarchist movement over here in Greece.

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.

The fire brigade had never issued an operating license to the building in question. The agreement for it to operate was under the table, as it practically happens with all businesses and companies in Greece.

The building in question has no fire safety mechanisms in place, neither planned nor installed ones – that is, it has no ceiling sprinklers, fire exits or fire hoses. There are only some portable fire extinguishers which, of course, cannot help in dealing with extensive fire in a building that is built with long-outdated security standards.

No branch of Marfin bank has had any member of staff trained in dealing with fire, not even in the use of the few fire extinguishers. The management also uses the high costs of such training as a pretext and will not take even the most basic measures to protect its staff.

There has never been a single evacuation exercise in any building by staff members, nor have there been any training sessions by the fire-brigade, to give instructions for situations like this. The only training sessions that have taken place at Marfin Bank concern terrorist action scenarios and specifically planning the escape of the banks’ “big heads” from their offices in such a situation.

The building in question had no special accommodation for the case of fire, even though its construction is very sensitive under such circumstances and even though it was filled with materials from floor to ceiling. Materials which are very inflammable, such as paper, plastics, wires, furniture. The building is objectively unsuitable for use as a bank due to its construction.

No member of security has any knowledge of first aid or fire extinguishing, even though they are every time practically charged with securing the building. The bank employees have to turn into firemen or security staff according to the appetite of Mr Vgenopoulos [owner of Marfin Bank].

The management of the bank strictly bared the employees from leaving today, even though they had persistently asked so themselves from very early this morning – while they also forced the employees to lock up the doors and repeatedly confirmed that the building remained locked up throughout the day, over the phone. They even blocked off their internet access so as to prevent the employees from communicating with the outside world.

For many days now there has been some complete terrorisation of the bank’s employees in regard to the mobilisations of these days, with the verbal “offer” : you either work, or you get fired.

The two undercover police who are dispatched at the branch in question for robbery prevention did not show up today, even though the bank’s management had verbally promised to the employees that they would be there.

At last, gentlemen, make your self-criticism and stop wandering around pretending to be shocked. You are responsible for what happened today and in any rightful state (like the ones you like to use from time to time as leading examples on your TV shows) you would have already been arrested for the above actions.

My co-workers lost their lives today by malice : the malice of Marfin Bank and Mr. Vgenopoulos personally who explicitly stated that whoever didin’t come to work today [May 5th, a day of a general strike !] should not bother showing up for work tomorrow [as they would get fired].

An employee of Marfin Bank [greek original]