President Anastasiades honours the 13 heroes of Mari

The 11th July 2011 is one of the most tragic days in the modern history of Cyprus as the explosion that killed 13 people not only shocked everyone but also revealed responsibilities at all levels and the reasons that led to the destruction said President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades.

During a gathering in Limassol on Friday evening to honour the 13 men that were killed at Mari, President Anastasiades said our debt, as a state, will be only be paid off by creating a country in which security will be the main feature. A country free and creative, free from syndromes that led to the paralysis of the state and the inability to make decisions.

Anastasiades said last night’s gathering, organised by Limassol Municipality with the support of the Defence Ministry, will be an annual event and will remind everyone that there are no limits to contributing to the society and the country and at the same time, it will place state institutions before their responsibilities.

The explosion, beyond the tragic account of human lives, literally shook the foundations of the state, challenged its ability to protect its citizens, and at the same time was a huge blow to the already turbulent economy of the country, the President remarked.

The 13 heroes of the tragedy in Mari gave their lives so that we can hope that state rulers at last, no matter who they are, have to be accountable, take their responsibilities, but before and above all to prevent similar tragedies.

The state, he added, decided to declare the 13 men heroes and has bestowed the highest honour on them, adding that the government will continue to support their families.

Addressing the relatives of the heroes, the President said: “I want you to feel proud of the heritage left by our 13 heroes. It is a legacy that belongs to all of us and especially to you, the President added.

On his part, Limassol Mayor Nikos Nikolaides praised the sacrifice of 13 heroes of Mari, pointing out that it is “our duty to remember and honor them as they deserve”.

On July 11, 2011 a powerful explosion in containers full of explosives which were kept at the naval base “Evangelos Florakis” in Mari resulted wit the death of 13 Cypriots from the National Guard, the Fire Department and EMAK and dozens of others were wounded, while the shock wave of the explosion caused huge damage to the power plant at Vasiliko, with serious fallout on the economy.

In the years that followed the blast, six persons, including two Ministers, were brought to justice. Four, including the then Minister of Defence, were given jail sentences in connection with the explosion on charges of causing death due to unreasonable or dangerous acts. The Minister of Defence was also found guilty of manslaughter due to neglect. The then Minister of Foreign Affairs was acquitted.

Source: Cyprus News Agency