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Relatives of Helios victims to attend service in Greece

The crash site in Greece

Relatives of the victims of the Helios air tragedy will attend a memorial on Wednesday in Grammatiko in Greece where the airplane crashed on August 14, 2005 leading its 115 passengers and six crew members to their death.

On that morning, the Helios Airways Flight 522 was scheduled to fly from Larnaca to Prague via Athens. It crashed at 12.03pm near Grammatiko, around 30 kilometres from Athens international airport.

Around 150 relatives of the victims are to attend the annual memorial service at the chapel built near the crash site. The service will be carried out by the Bishop of Kifissia, Amarousio and of Oropos, Kyrillos. Cyprus’ ambassador to Athens Kyriacos Kenevezos will also attend.

Later on, a prayer will be carried out at the hill where the plane crashed.

Last Sunday memorials were held in Cyprus for the victims by their families.

Of the 121 victims, 107 including four crew members were Cypriots while 12 plus one crew member were Greek, and the captain, Hans-Jürgen Merten, 58, a German national.

Political parties expressed their solidarity to the victims’ families and called on the state to return to them the compensation money slashed during the 2013 haircut on bank deposits.

Edek made a plea to the government to return the money.

The Greens said that the haircut on deposits was an injustice to the relatives of the victims.

“Several of the relatives of the Helios victims have complained that they lost most of the money paid to them as compensation,” the party said. It added that the Green’s chairman Giorgos Perdikis had suggested last year in a letter to the finance minister that there ought to be provisions in the bill on the solidarity fund set up for the victims of the economic crisis concerning giving priority to the Helios victims’ compensation.

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