Fofi Gennimata was laid to rest with full state honors Wednesday with the City of Athens covering the cost of the funeral in honor of her contributions to Greece.
Crowds who lined the street as the funeral cortege made its way from the Athens Cathedral to the First Cemetery of Athens called out “Athanati” (Immortal).
Gennimata, who died at 57 on Monday from cancer, drew eulogies from all parties as a seasoned politician who put her party first and as someone who was respected by all sides.
Her funeral cortege stopped before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Syntagma Square for a few minutes before moving on to her final resting place, where she was buried with honors of an active minister and under state expense.
She lay in state at a chapel at the Athens Cathedral (Mitropoli) since 10:00 am, then moved to the cathedral where a funeral service was attended by President of the Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the cabinet, and party leaders, among others.
Former prime ministers, former PASOK ministers, union members and others attended the service.
An honorary guard presented arms from all three branches of the Armed Forces and people lining the streets clapped as her casket came out.
She will be laid to rest in the family tomb alongside her father, Georgios Gennimatas – one of the founders of the PASOK party.
Wednesday, October 27, has been declared a day of national mourning, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis declared on Monday. All flags on public buildings are flying at half mast.
Fofi Gennimata and her long battle with cancer
The mother of three died at the capital’s Evangelismos Hospital on Monday after a long battle with cancer. She was 57.
On October 11 she was admitted to Athens’ Evangelismos Hospital with an intestinal obstruction. She died “after a years’ long battle and despite the efforts of her attending physicians,” the hospital’s administration said in a statement on Monday, expressing its condolences to her family.
Gennimata, the leader of the socialist party PASOK and the center-left coalition Movement for Change (KINAL), withdrew from the race to elect a new leader for the party that is due to take place in December. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008.
The 57-year-old politician has been president of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) since 2015. Since 2017, she served as the president of the Movement for Change, a coalition of center-left parties formed around PASOK.
Gennimata, the daughter of Greek politician Giorgos Gennimatas, who was credited for establishing the Greek public health system during the government of PASOK in the 1980’s, was a well-respected figure in the politics of the country.
In the last national elections of July 2019, the KINAL alliance took 8.1 percent of the vote, electing 22 MPs. It’s currently the third-largest Parliamentary group in Greece.