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Another Femicide In Greece, in Ierapetra, Crete

13th Greek Femicide victim
Nektaria Maraki is the 13th femicide victim in Greece this year. Credit: Meta/Facebook

Another femicide has occurred in Greece as a 54-year-old man stabbed his ex-wife to death on Friday morning in Ierapetra, Crete.

This marks the 13th femicide in Greece in 10 months.

The alleged perpetrator attempted to take his own life following the femicide. After seven hours of negotiating with authorities after he threatened suicide he finally remanded himself into custody, turning himself over to authorities in the presence of the couple’s 25-year-old son.

The alleged perpetrator of the femicide was taken by paramedics to the hospital in Ierapetra under police guard.

The manager of the hotel where the brutal femicide took place told Cretapost that the perpetrator was completely calm as he threatened to kill his ex-wife.

Femicide Victim Stabbed Eight Times

The 48-year-old victim, Nekataria Markari, originally from Moires near Herakleion, left the house where she was staying with her new partner in Ierapetra early Friday morning. She was going to the hotel, located in the area of Peristera, for an orientation and trial run of a job she had applied for at the venue for the coming summer season.

“The girl came in the morning. He must have followed her from her house. My mother was in the parking lot when the girl arrived at the hotel, accompanied by her boyfriend,” the hotel manager said. “The boyfriend dropped her off and the victim approached my mother in the parking lot.”

The alleged perpetrator of the femicide approached the victim as she arrived at the hotel, according to the hotel manager, who stated, “He entered the parking lot on his motorcycle, collided into her and knocked her down.

“My mother, who was on the premises, left to call the police. When she returned she saw the 54-year-old again in the parking lot. He was calm. She was unaware that he had just killed his ex-wife. My mother asked him, ‘Where is…? What did you do to her?’ He replied ‘We had unresolved issues,’ and with that he left the premises.”

The lifeless victim of femicide was discovered on the stairs near the pool area with eight stab wounds. Surveillance cameras at the courtyard of the hotel have captured the man chasing the victim with a knife; however, footage has not captured the murder.

According to the hotel manager, the victim’s ex-husband attempted to leave the scene on the motorcycle but it wouldn’t start. He abandoned the bike and headed on foot to a neighboring field towards the sea. He stopped at the cliff, threatening to take his own life following the femicide. Authorities including the police, the Coast Guard, Emergency Services and a special negotiator arrived on the scene to prevent him from committing suicide.

Estranged Couple Face Financial, Personal Difficulties

The estranged couple have four children, the eldest of whom is the son who was on the scene following the femicide. The couple had been facing problems for years, both personally and financially. The 54-year-old had bought a truck to transport vegetables from Ierapetra; however he never managed to repay his debts and the bank confiscated his property.

The family of six was evicted from their home but the local community of Ierapetra mobilized and found the family a small, inexpensive home to rent. However, they were evicted again as they were unable to pay the expenses.

The latest Greek victim of femicide is described as a very hardworking woman who worked up to three different jobs at the same time in order to support her children. The problems in the couple’s relationship were continuous but worsened when the 54-year-old began demanding money from his wife.

Although the victim of the femicide was long separated, her ex-husband never left her alone. He reportedly harassed her both on the job and at home, demanding money. In recent years, he reportedly openly threatened that he intended to kill her.

The alleged perpetrator of the brutal femicide remains under guard at the Ierapetra hospital, while he has two stab wounds to the chest, one superficial and one slightly deeper. According to the announcement of the hospital, the 54-year-old has not realized that he killed his ex-wife.

A cousin of the killer, speaking to Cretapost, stressed that they had been divorced for some time, but recently the 54-year-old learned that she was involved with a friend.

“Yesterday my cousin learned that Nektaria was in a relationship with his close friend of 35 years. In fact, he saw a photo that his friend had uploaded with his ex-wife on social media. This probably angered him and he did what he did,” said the perpetrator’s cousin.

She stated that the 54-year-old’s relationship with his children is excellent.

“The relationship with his children was excellent. Especially with his eldest son who he has a weakness for. His son was also involved in the negotiations to prevent him from committing suicide. If he hadn’t been involved, I think he would have already gone off the cliff,” she said.

Statistics show that domestic violence has been on the rise in Greece in recent years. In 2018 a total of 3,815 adult women were victims of domestic violence. The number in 2019 rose to 4,171 women.

There were 13 femicides in 2018, eight in 2019 and ten in 2020. All of them were family or boyfriend-related. Nine months into 2021, the number of femicides is already at 12.

Dimitris Kioupis, an associate professor of Criminal Law and Procedure in the Athens Law university believes that it is about time that the term “femicide” was introduced to the Greek Penal Code.

“There are EU guidelines introduced into the Greek Penal system, but recent changes introduced by the government are distinguishing between murders committed in the heat of the moment and those committed in cold blood.”

“The new Penal Code allows for instances where a cold-blooded murderer can get 10 years in prison, instead of life imprisonment,” he says.

“Femicide” has been introduced in Greece and recognized as a growing “plague” in Greek society. Whether or not it will be dealt with appropriately by Greek institutions remains to be seen.

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