'Hero' Greek woman set English plumber's genitals on fire
Published 08/08/2009 | 00:00
Marina Fanouraki is an unlikely Greek heroine. In the early hours of Tuesday in the Electra bar in Crete, the 26-year-old is said to have doused a drunken English plumber with sambuca and set him alight.
She then gave herself up to police. She claims that 23-year-old Stuart Feltham had groped her, exposed himself and demanded sex. He denies her allegations.
But in the eyes of many Greeks and regardless of the facts, Ms Fanouraki is being hailed for her actions. The story has made headlines across the country with sympathetic editorials praising the "gutsy Cretan".
"She is seen as a modern-day hero," said police officer Theordoros Pakos. "A lot of people here are really tired of the way drunken Englishmen comport themselves."
The bar where the events took place is in Malia, a resort that has become notorious for the bad behaviour of tourists. UK party websites publicising "all-night" orgies have fanned the unruly and drunken behaviour in the resort.
Residents have repeatedly taken to the streets to demand that Britons "stay away" and this week a shop owner in Malia meted out his own brand of justice by holding hostage for an entire day a tourist who had driven into his shop on a quad bike.
Crete is not the only island to be suffering for the excesses of British holidaymakers. Zakynthos used to be known as the Venice of the East. But this year, the summer had barely begun before officials were on the brink of despair.
"We don't understand it," said Dionysios Komniotis, the Mayor of Laganas, Zakynthos's notorious "anything goes" resort. "They roll off the plane drunk and then proceed to drink from morning to night. They don't seem to want to enjoy our island, our culture, our hospitality. All they want to do is create trouble."
This year, mayors, police and tourism officials have openly blamed tour operators for the cycle of violence that has come to be associated with the debauchery.
"The operators have threatened us quite openly, saying, 'If you don't like this, if you don't want to put up with it, we'll pull out,' said Mr Komniotis.
"This year, we have stood our ground. We have told the operators straight, that we are not interested in such tourism," he said. "What is going on is unacceptable." (© Independent News Service)