A young woman called the police in front of an office in Greece and asked for protection. She was ignored and stabbed minutes later.

In protest, the women printed red paint on their faces with their hands.

Women in Athens protest against feminicide in August 2022 Photo: Louisa Gouliamaki/getty

ATHENS taz | Kyriaki Griva, 28, a pretty and joyful woman, waits for the last minutes of her life in front of the police station in her neighborhood, in a working-class suburb in the north of Athens. She is waiting for help. From the police. Instead of helping her at the scene, she tells him to call the emergency call center.

She does so and the police officer on duty answers the phone. The conversation lasts a good minute until Kyriaki Griva is brutally stabbed by her hasty ex-boyfriend. The recording is broadcast to a private television station in Athens. All of Greece listens when it is too late.

“I'm standing in front of the police station. I need someone to take me home,” Kyriaki Griva says in a firm voice. His ex-partner is waiting for her in front of his apartment, he explains. “She has many psychological problems. I'm afraid to go home alone.” The man at the emergency call center responds dryly: “The patrol car is not a taxi. If you want, I will send a police car to your house.” He says this despite the fact that there is a patrol car right next to Kyriaki Griva, as shown in the images published by a surveillance camera.

She agrees. “When will the police car arrive?” she asks. “I don't know,” is her succinct response. Griva asks: “What should I do? Stay here or go home slowly? ”The police officer now asks from the emergency call center while the young woman continues standing in front of the police station, not far from her apartment. “Did you report him (the ex-boyfriend)?” Griva says no. “Then why is she waiting for you?” she asks further. Griva bluntly: “she is waiting to take revenge on me. To beat me. She tried it yesterday.”

81st feminicide in Greece since 2020

The police officer at the distant emergency call center slowly begins typing the young woman's request for help into the computer. Read the text aloud. “What is your name?” “Kyriaki Griva.” “So, your ex-partner is waiting outside her apartment to commit violence. Right?” “Yes.” “When will you get to your apartment? Do you want me to write it?” Griva: “I live nearby (he gives me the address). “I’ll be there in two minutes.”

But this does not happen. She shouts: “Ah, he came here!” The police officer at the emergency call center is taken aback: “The ex?” Griva quickly: “Yes, he is here!” “Should I send the patrol car to the police station?” ?” “Yeah…!” This is her last word. Her cell phone falls to the ground. Kyriaki Griva shouts. It's her death cry. Griva's ex-partner, 39, kills her with five stab wounds to the upper part of her body. A witness shouts: “He killed her! He killed her!”

The murder of Kyriaki Griva on the afternoon of April 1 is the 81st femicide in Greece since the beginning of 2020, and the number is increasing. The clamor in Hellas is great. Never before in this country has a femicide occurred right in front of a police station, in the heart of the Greek capital, without the police intervening.

The Athens government of conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis appears paralyzed. He has been in office since July 8, 2019. One of his big promises was that he would guarantee “law and order” from now on, unlike the previous left-wing government of former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. A classic among the projects of right-wing governments.

Empty words. Whether it is the escalation of fanatic violence at the foot of the Acropolis, the repeated savage shootouts between members of the so-called “Greek mafia” that caused deaths or the now alarmingly increasing number of murders of women: Mitsotakis and company face a disaster .

The Prime Minister remains faithful to his minister

From the beginning of 2020 to the end of 2023, exactly 37,312 cases of domestic violence were officially recorded nationwide. According to experts, the number of unreported cases is high. Most of the victims are women. The trend here too: upward. There were 1,808 new cases in the first two months of this year. Griva's ex-boyfriend is said to have been known to the police since 2020 because she hit her. Law enforcement officers did not prevent the feminicide. The perpetrator was arrested. Six days after the murder, she attempted suicide in prison. He is currently in a hospital in Athens.

One thing is certain: Greece has more police officers relative to its population than almost all other EU countries. Specifically, Hellas has about 500 police officers per 100,000 inhabitants. This means second place in the EU. Only Cyprus has something more. For comparison: Germany has around 300 police officers per 100,000 inhabitants, slightly lower than the EU average.

Greeks do not feel safe in their own country. Frustration increases. According to a survey recently published by Athens polling institute Public Issue, a whopping 76 percent of respondents said the local crime situation had worsened in the past twelve months. Only five percent of Hellenes said the situation had improved.

Prime Minister Mitsotakis holds firmly to Michalis Chrysochoidis, Minister of Citizen Protection. He is the third minister to hold this position since Mitsotakis' government was re-elected in June last year. To do this, the nondescript police officer from the emergency call center and four of his colleagues were quickly taken to the police station where the unfortunate Kyriaki Griva died. Among them is a police officer who was on duty on the afternoon of April 1. He didn't intervene either.

The fact that, according to the Greek media, this guard of all people has been legally convicted of connections to organized crime and is about to be fired from the police, causes even more irritation. He claims that he did not get a good look at the victim Griva from his guardhouse, as he allegedly justified his fatal inaction during the incredible incident.

Shocked by the recent murder of women, Prime Minister Mitsotakis defiantly states: “Police cars should become taxis and ambulances for citizens.” Hardly anyone in Greece believes that, least of all women.