Covered with the Greek flag, the flag of PASOK and the flag of KINAL the coffin of Fofi Gennimata was laid to state at the Athens Cathedral on Wednesday morning, as thousands of people said farewell to one of the last dignified politicians in Greece.
Her family, her friends and party members, the whole of the state and political leadership of the country, and ordinary people attended the funeral service.
The death of the 56-year-old chairwoman of socialist KINAL after a long battle with cancer on Monday not only saddened but also shocked thousands of people across the country. Fofi Gennimata was hospitalized since October 11, when the cancer had returned, this time irreversibly. However, nobody would suggest the graveness of her health condition as she was working and was politically active until her hospitalization.
In her speech at the funeral, the president of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou praised Gennimata’s “integrity and bravery, optimism and discretion.”
“Saying goodbye to Fofi Gennimata today, we are not just saying goodbye to a woman politician who was distinguished for her democratic ethos, honesty and efficiency. We are not just saying goodbye to a woman who faced the cruel illness with vigor and sincerity. We say goodbye to a role model of optimism and discretion, a woman with innate kindness who distinguished and guarded the boundaries between the public and the private, knowing, however, when the individual experience is worth sharing to support others with its truth. The passion with which Fofi Gennimata supported the improvement of public health structures is the practical expression of this attitude to life,” the President said among others.
Thousands of Greeks said Farewell to Fofi on Wednesday morning.
When the coffin was carried out of the Cathedral to head to the First Cemetery of Athens, the crowd applauded shouting “Immortal!”
Thousands of people march with “Fofi” -as we just call her in Greece – to the cemetery, a short stop was made outside the Parliament building, the “second home” of the acting president of a political party.
She was buried with honors of an acting minister of the Greek government.
The funeral service, the march to the cemetary and the funeral were broadcasted live on state broadcaster ERT.
Fofi leaves behind a husband and three children.
The flags on all public buildings are flying at half mast as a mark of national mourning.