Konstantinka Kuneva was born in the town of Silistra, Bulgaria on 1964. She holds a degree of history from Saint Cyril and Methodius University. Due to the extended economic and social crisis in her country that prevented her from exercising her profession, she migrated to Greece on 2001, hoping for a better future. She settled in Athens and worked for a large cleaning services corporation that had undertaken the maintenance of public infrastructures, such as Athens’ electric railway. Since 2002, Mrs.Kuneva bestirred herself actively, in the union movement. She was a founding member of the fledgling, Athens-based Union of Cleaners and Domestic Workers.
Her work towards the empowerment and the protection of the most vulnerable working classes was never popular among some certain circles, and in this context, she was threatened for her life, several times. On the night of 23 December 2008, leaving work and on her way home to her young son, she was viciously attacked with acid by thugs. She survived thanks to the care she received from the doctors and the medical staff, where she was hospitalized for several months, the support of many Greeks, who assisted her family to undergo the repercussions of that terrifying assault and the solitary stance of her co-workers.
Mrs. Kuneva has a first-hand experience of the importance of solidarity in everyone’s life. She never contested her stance and her struggle for the protection of working rights and the implementation of labor law.
The following excerpt comes from an interview Mrs Kuneva gave, following the announcement of her candidacy for European Parliament in the ballots of SYRIZA.
“Politics should not be perceived as the rich and powerful people’s business. The essence of elections and the social struggles is that the poor and the deprived must have a say in politics. The advocates of capital might prevail within the European parliament as they have betrayed the people’s vote. However, the ordinary European citizen doesn’t want to assign such a power to someone who originally represents the wealth. In this context, we want to bring in the European parliament, the voice of the most deprived, the invisible of our society. We will also have the chance to bring in to the surface and reveal to the people the blurry details of what takes place within the European institutions. I would like to quote Bertold Brecht’s words from his poem, In praise of learning: “Acquire knowledge, you who shiver! You, who are hungry, reach for the book: it is a weapon. You must take over the leadership !”