Greek political leaders express condolences over pilot’s death; three-day mourning period for armed forces

Greek political leaders expressed their condolences throughout Thursday and the armed forces announced a three-day mourning period for Hellenic Air Force pilot Georgios Baltadoros, 34, who died when his Mirage 2000-5 crashed into the Aegean Sea on Thursday.

Condolences were expressed by Greek President Prokopios Pavlopoulos, who said the state would never forget his contribution, and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who expressed his deep gratitude for the young man’s contribution to the country’s safety.

Minister of National Defence Panos Kammenos said the pilot had “joined the Pantheon of heroes” and condolences were also expressed by General Michael Kostarakos, honorary chief of Hellenic National Defence General Staff.

Messages also came in from Alternate Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Toskas, the SYRIZA party, New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the party’s shadow defence minister Vassilis Kikilias, Democratic Coalition leader Fofi Gennimata, Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis, and Parliament President Nikos Voutsis, among others.

The armed forces will observe a three-day mourning period starting Thursday, by order of Minister Kammenos. Flags will fly at half mast at all military units during the three days.