|Fruit farmers seek to hire Greeks
Producers in Ileia plan to advertise 4,000 positions with Manpower Organization
10 June 2013 ekathimerini
Strawberry producers in Ileia, in the Peloponnese, are seeking to recruit Greek fruit pickers, rather
than the migrant laborers they usually employ, in a bid to curb rising unemployment, Kathimerini
The 120 or so strawberry producers in northern Ileia are expected to submit applications to the
Amaliada-based office of the state Manpower Organization (OAED) in the coming days for the
recruitment of more than 4,000 fruit pickers and the majority want those jobs to go to Greeks.
In April dozens of migrant workers were injured when their supervisors opened fire on them
following a dispute over unpaid salaries, fueling a debate about conditions on Greek fruit farms.
Hundreds of foreign workers, chiefly undocumented, uninsured migrants, eke out a living working
on fruit farms in the Peloponnese. Virtually all of Greece’s strawberry exports are produced by
farms in Ileia.
Crete police launch investigation after man's body found in well
8th June 2013 ekathimerini
A 60-year-old man was found dead on Friday in a well near his home in the village of Apidi near
Siteia in eastern Crete, police said.
The body of the victim, who was not identified, was pulled out of the well by a crew of the EKAB
Police have opened an investigation into the case.
Reports said the man was suffering from psychological problems.
Fires in Irakleio, Crete, under control
Fires in Vasilies, Voni and Agia Pelagia
7th June 2013 EnetEnglish AMNA
A number of fires that broke out in Irakleio, Crete, on Friday have been put under control,
authorities confirmed on Saturday.
The first fire broke out on Friday evening near a residential area in Vasilies. Six fire brigade
vehicles and 15 firemen were sent to the scene and, with the help of a team of volunteers,
managed to get the fire under control late at night.
Another two fire brigade vehicles, 13 firemen and a municipality water truck rushed to Voni in
Irakleio to prevent a fire from reaching the monastery of Agia Marina on Friday night and got the
blaze under control a few hours later.
A third fire that broke out at 11pm on Friday in Agia Pelagia in Irakleio was contained before
Several acres of agricultural and forest land have been destroyed.
Greek student arrested in Istanbul riots returns home
7 June 2013 ekathimerini
A Greek student who was detained earlier this week in Istanbul amid ongoing anti-government
protests returned to Greece on Friday after being deported by the Turkish authorities.
Giorgos Iatridis, who was in Istanbul under the Erasmus student exchange program, faced a
prosecutor on Thursday but was not charged.
Another 12 foreign students had been taken into custody following a police crackdown on
protesters at Gezi Park.
Mass release of vultures on Crete to set world record
7th June 2013 ekathimerini
There will be an attempt to break a world record on Crete on Saturday, when 10 vultures are due
to be released back into the wild.
The vultures were all found poisoned on Crete and have been treated at the Hellenic Wildlife
Hospital on Aegina.
The birds are due to be released at 11.30 a.m. in the area of Archanes. Organizers have applied
for the event to be recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest mass release
of vultures in history.
Early morning tremor shakes Athens
4th June 2013 AMNA
Athenians were rocked awake on Tuesday morning by a tremor that hit a few kilometers east of
the capital and was sharply felt in most parts of the city.
The quake, measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale, hit at just before 5 a.m., with no damage or
Its epicenter, according to seismologists, was Pikermi, a town some 24 kilometers east of the
capital, and a few kilometers to the north of the Athens International Airport, which kept
operating without any problems.
Experts said that the tremor did not give rise to concerns as the Pikermi fault line is considered
relatively inactive and low risk.
Local residents in eastern Attica described the tremor as a sharp wave accompanied by a loud
The center of the quake was estimated to be five kilometers from the surface. No major
aftershocks have been reported.
Fires break out across Crete
30 May 2013 Living in Crete & Prismanews
In the early hours of Wednesday morning major fires broke out on fronts across the Chania
region, the worse being in Aptera -Megala Horafia and Vamvokopoulo areas. The fire raged across
the village of Aptera, fanned by strong winds. Much farmland was burnt and many homes
threatened, with the villagers evacuating houses and helping fight the flames. There are no
reports of any injuries and miraculously no homes were burnt.
In Vamvoukopoulo the large fires burned three businesses: an Aluminium warehouse, a business
with agricultural products and a boat supplier.
There were also fires in Platanias and Kerameia in the Chania region.
In Rethymon fires broke out in the regions of Melidoni, Anogia and Gonia, while in Heraklion fires
started in many regions, including Stavies, Lutto, Kalivia and Afrati.
Winds in excess of 70km an hour made it difficult for firefighters to control the spread, but they
managed to get the fires under control by daylight hours. Some of the fires have been blamed on
DEH, the electricity company, with the electricity lines being damaged in the strong winds and
producing sparks. In some other cases arson is suspected.
Reports shows Greeks work longer and are paid less than OECD average
28 May 2013 ekathimerini
People in Greece work 2,032 hours a year, more than the OECD average of 1,776 hours,
according to the update of the OECD’s Better Life Index, published on Tuesday.
Greeks also earn less than the average in the 34 countries surveyed, with the average household
net-adjusted disposable income of $20,440 (15,887 euros) a year, slightly less than the OECD
average of $23,047 (17,914 euros) a year.
The OECD also found that there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest in Greece
as the top 20 percent of the population earns six times as much as the bottom 20 percent.
The index compares the well-being of 34 developed and emerging countries based on eleven
categories including housing, income, jobs, education, life satisfaction and work-life balance.
Woman arrested at Crete tax office after threatening staff with meat cleaver
27 May 2013 ekathimerini
A woman has been arrested on Crete after entering a tax office brandishing a meat cleaver and
allegedly threatening staff.
The incident took place at the tax office in the town of Hania. The woman, who had a tax-related
complaint, allegedly brought the meat cleaver down on one of the employees’ desks.
Police were called and she was arrested on the spot.
Hate Speech Bill
16 May 2013 EnetEnglish
An anti-racism bill the government had was due to be tabled in parliament last week has finally
been presented to the house. The prime minister's office had halted the document for
consultation but it was sent to parliament on Wednesday unchanged. It is to be debated on May
21. The bill raises financial and prison penalties for racist offences. In a statement, the prime
minister's office said that normal procedure was followed with the bill.
Parliament allows MP's to go on trial
16 May 2013 EnetEnglish
Parliament has stripped four MPs of immunity from prosecution, including Tourism Minister Olga
Kefaloyanni, allowing them to stand trial. Kefaloyanni and Golden Dawn MP Ilias Panayotaros are
charged with slander, Pasok MP (and former Speaker) Nikitas Kaklamanis is being sued by an
Athens municipality worker for dereliction of duty, and independent MP Odysseas Voudouris is
charged with negligent manslaughter. Stripping MPs of their immunity used to be extremely rare.
It was brought into vogue earlier this year by independent MP Dora Bakoyanni, who requested
the opportunity to face charges of financial misdemeanour and clear her name.
Boy, 11, stabbed on Crete
15 May 2013 ekathimerini
Police on Wednesday were investigating the stabbing of a 11-year-old boy in Iraklio, Crete.
According to early reports the boy was in critical condition after being stabbed several times in the
back, while police had arrested a 20-year old Dutch hotel employee in connection to the attack.
According to local media reports, the boy is of Russian descent and was vacationing on the
southern Greek island with his family. He was found near the hotel he was staying with his
parents after the latter reported him missing.
Initially transferred to a local hospital for treatment, the boy was subsequently airlifted to an
Athens health facility.
Civil servants strike as teachers forced to work
13 May 2013 ekathimerini
Civil servants are to walk off the job on Tuesday in a bid to express solidarity with secondary
school teachers after the government issued a civil mobilization order to force teachers to work on
Friday when they had planned an anti-austerity strike.
The government on Monday issued civil mobilization papers to some 88,000 teachers who face
arrest and possible dismissal if they fail to turn up for work from Wednesday, when the order
comes into effect.
The Education Ministry reportedly made a concession, however, withdrawing a presidential decree
foreseeing thousands of compulsory transfers of teachers – one of the key points of contention of
protesting teachers – for revision.
The union representing secondary school teachers, OLME, had little luck in drumming up strong
support. ADEDY called its solidarity strike for Tuesday after refusing a request from OLME to join
its walkout on Friday, saying it did not want to create upheaval for students sitting university
OLME was also snubbed by the Council of State, which rejected an appeal for the government’s
civil mobilization order to be “frozen.”
Gov't freezes anti-racism bill for 'reassessment'
10 May 2013 ekathimerini
An anti-racism bill aimed at reining in the ultra-right Golden Dawn by banning from politics MPs
found to have been involved in racist violence will be "reassessed" before its submission to
Parliament, Justice Minister Antonis Roupakiotis said on Friday.
The bill, which also foresees lawmakers using Nazi imagery or salutes in Parliament having their
immunity lifted and losing their right to stand for office, had been scheduled to be put to public
consultation on Friday.
Roupakiotis said that State Minister Dimitris Stamatis and the government's general secretary,
Panayiotis Baltakos, would review the anti-racism bill as "its social parameters must be examined
more thoroughly." On Wednesday, Roupakiotis had said the bill was "basically ready." The
minister added that all political parties, apart from one, were ready to embrace new reforms that
would criminalize the phenomenon of racist violence and xenophobia.
According to sources, the government's back-pedaling on the bill comes amid fears of making
martyrs of Golden Dawn MPs, many of whom have been linked to racist attacks. A head-on clash
with Golden Dawn could end up boosting the ultra-right party by making it appear to be
persecuted, some government officials sources fear.
Unemployment in Greece reaches 27% during February and OVER 64% FOR YOUTH
9 May 2013 protothema
The unemployment rate rose to 27% in February, from 26.7% in January 2013 and 21.9% in
According EL.STAT. figures, the unemployed increased by 245,021 persons compared to February
2012 (+22.8%) and 11.663 compared with January 2013 (+0.9%), amounting to 1,320,189.
First in unemployment is the age group of 15-24, where the ratio has reached 64.2%, followed by
the 25-34 group with 36.2% and the 35-44 group with 23.7%. The highest unemployment rate is
recorded in women, as it has increased to 31% from 25.7% a year ago. In men it rose to 24.1%
Greek public HIV testing clinics halt checks due to budget woes
9 May 2013 ekathimerini
Public HIV testing clinics have stopped checks since last month because of budget problems, the
Athens medical association said on Friday, attacking Deputy Health Minister Fotini Skopouli for
blocking funding to the centers.
The allegations came as data show that the number of HIV/AIDS cases is soaring in Greece, with
infections among injecting drug users more than doubling since 2010.
“Despite the recent AIDS epidemic, Skopouli is wrecking the country’s defense against the
disease,” Giorgos Patoulis, head of the association, said on Friday.
A total of 180,000 euros has been earmarked for the three HIV testing clinics, but none of that
money has so far reached the units, according to reports.
No ferries, public transport to be disrupted as unions mark May Day
Greece’s two largest labor unions, GSEE and ADEDY, are hoping for a strong turnout on
Wednesday, May 1st, when a number of professions will go on strike and take part in a rally in
central Athens, to mark May Day.
Public transport will be disrupted on Wednesday but unions have said they will try to ease the
impact on passengers as much as possible. However, there will be no metro to Athens
Ferries will remain docked throughout Wednesday as the seamens’ union, PNO, will be taking part
in the May Day events.
Public hospitals will be operating with skeleton staff as doctors and nurses are also due to go on
Court hands down stiff sentences over 2007 ambush of police in lawless Zoniana
29 April 2012 ekathmerini
A five-judge Piraeus court on Monday handed down sentences of between 25 and six years to 16
men found guilty of involvement in an ambush against police officers in Zoniana, a rural area in
Rethymno, Crete, during a drug raid in November 2007, in which one officer was seriously
The court gave two men, one of whom is an Albanian national and remains at large, the maximum
sentence of 25 years for the attempted murder – among other charges – of 33-year-old special
officer Stathis Lazaridis, who remains in a coma five-and-a-half years after gunmen in the lawless
village opened fire on 49 police officers conducting a raid in search of illegal narcotics, for which
the area is notorious.
Another two officers were injured in the gun battle.
The court also handed sentences of 10 years to another three men and five-and-a-half years to
another 10. The 16th defendant saw his sentence reduced to four years.
Athens Airport rejects Ryanair proposal
25 April 2013 enetEnglish
Ryanair could attract 10m tourists to Greece in the next three years as long as the country's
airports agree to certain terms, the airline’s deputy CEO said on Thursday. Speaking at a press
conference, Michael Cawley said that Athens International Airport should reduce taxes to 5 euros
per passenger in order to become more competitive, something which the Airport firmly refused to
do in a statement released just hours later, arguing that their business model is not compatible
with Ryanair practices.
Easter egg dye withdrawn in Greece over safety fears
25 April 2013 ekathimerini
Regional authorities in Attica and the Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) in association with the
General Chemical State Laboratory on Thursday called for the withdrawal from the Greek market
of a dye for Easter eggs trading under the name Radix Cut after inspections showed it contained
the extract of a plant for which there is no record of safe use.
European Commission to rule on Aegean's bid for Olympic by September 3
23 April 2013 Bloomburg via ekathimerini
Aegean Airlines SA faces an in- depth probe into its renewed bid to buy Olympic Air and form
Greece’s biggest carrier, two years after the EU blocked a previous attempt over antitrust
The European Commission, the 27-nation EU’s antitrust regulator, said today it will rule on the
transaction by Sept. 3.
Assailants shoot at University of Crete academic's empty car
22 April 2013 ekathimerini
A car belonging to an academic at the University of Crete was shot at outside his house near the
town of Iraklio early on Monday.
Police said that the windows were smashed in the attack but nobody was injured as the incident
happened at 4 a.m. Two shotgun shells were found at the scene.
There was no immediate indication of what the motive for the shooting might have been.
Financial police arrested a farm owner, uncover offenses after shooting of strawberry pickers
21 April 2013 ekathimerini
Financial police have conducted checks on eight farming companies operating in the Nea Manolada
area, where Bangladeshi strawberry pickers were short earlier this week.
The police said late on Saturday that one owner had been arrested for employing undocumented
Inspectors also recorded three offenses relating to labor laws and one breach of the tax code.
The three suspects who injured almost 30 migrants earlier in the week are due to face a
prosecutor on Monday.
Body of 45-year-old man found off Crete
19 April 2013 ekathimerini
The body of a 45-year-old man who went missing off the coast of Crete on April 7 was found on
Authorities said the crew of a fishing boat found the corpse at a depth of 45 meters some 600
meters from the shore.
The 45-year-old, a physiotherapist, was one of four men who went sailing in stormy weather off
the coast of Ierapetra in southern Crete earlier this month. The other three men were rescued.
Small gifts not bribes, govt says
16 April 2013 EnetEnglish
Justice ministry clarifies that law passed in March does not legalise the 'fakelaki', as under-the-
table cash bribes are known, but only covers gifts such as books and pens
A recent law that essentially legalises the offering of small gifts to civil servants as an expression
of gratitude does not extend to under-the-table cash payments, regardless of the amounts
involved, the government has said.
Dismissing claims that the new legislation gives a green light to bribery, the justice ministry on
Monday underlined that “only books, pens and other symbolic gifts have been legalised as
‘expressions of gratitude’”. Full story
Unemployment in Greece rises yet again
11 April 2013 EnetEnglish
The rate of unemployment in Greece rose to 27.2% in January – extending its previous eurozone
record – in the latest figures released by state statistical service Elstat. A further 11,653 people
lost their jobs in the month, taking the total to more than 281,000 in the calendar year. The figure
is up from 25.7% the previous month and 21.5% in the same month last year.
Samaria Gorge partly opens April 10th
9 April 2013 http://kritikaepikaira.gr
The Samaria National Park opens from Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at the south entrance (Agia
Roumeli) for the first two kilometers. The full opening of the gorge has not yet been announced,
this is usually around May 1st.
Municipality of Festos: Abandoned houses for the homeless
7 April 2013
The municipality of Festos in Crete has called on all property holders in the area to temporarily
offer empty and abandoned buildings to homeless families.
According to a statement released by the municipality, the housing issue has become a serious
problem facing many families in Festos. The insecurity, anxiety and fear felt by those who do not
have a home can have sad repercussions, the statement stresses.
The municipality says that temporarily providing these families with a roof over their head will give
them a chance to improve their socio-economic condition.
Festos is situated in the Heraklion prefecture on the southern island of Crete. It is named after
the ancient city of Festos, whose ruins are among the island's most popular tourist attractions.
ELTA offers discount on food parcels to students away from home
4 April 2013 ekathimerini
The Greek postal service, ELTA, launched a scheme on Thursday which allows parents to send
food parcels or other packages to children that are studying away from home in Greece at a 30
ELTA said the lower rates were available to people sending parcels to students and to the
students themselves, if they wanted to send something home.
Under the scheme, sending a 2-kilo package costs 2.87 euros. A 5-kilo parcel costs 4.27 euros
and a 10-kilo package 6.51 euro
Serres: Deputy mayor stole pasta, cheese and oil meant for the poor & needy
3 April 2013 Keep Talking Greece
A law suit has been filed against Deputy Mayor of Heraclea in Serres, Northern Greece, who
allegedly stole large quantities of food destined for needy. However his aim was not the personal
consumption but the distribution of these food items to those picked up by the elected local
politicians. Possible to secure votes and re-election.
According to news website Thestival.gr, 29 cartons with cheese, six cartons with pasta and 35
boxes with olive oil, total worth 1,000 euro, were stolen within two weeks in January from the
municipality depot for the needy of the area.
Distribution of food for the needy is done through strict income criteria.
When the case blew up, the deputy mayor returned the goods. He is to face charges for stealing.
Greek villagers block Golden Dawn food handout on Thassos
1 April 2013 BBC News
Villagers on the Greek island of Thassos have prevented the nationalist Golden Dawn party from
handing out free food and other basic goods.
One of the most right-wing parties in Europe, Golden Dawn is accused of anti-immigrant attacks,
but denies violent activity.
To Vima says the anti-Golden Dawn protest in Potamia was organised by the cultural centre, local
football team and some other residents. Thassos is in the northern Aegean Sea, near the coast of
Earlier Golden Dawn had distributed food in the village of Limenaria, but few had accepted the
charity, the report said.
Last August party activists distributed food to Greeks in central Athens - but obliged recipients to
show their identity papers, to prove their Greek citizenship.
Floodlight pylon collapses in Crete due to strong winds
25 March 2013 ekathimerini
A floodlight pylon collapsed Monday at OFI soccer club’s homeground in Iraklio, Crete, due to gale-
Several cars were damaged but no injuries were reported.
Piraeus Bank to absorb local Cypriot bank branches
24 March 2013 EnetEnglish
As Piraeus Bank is confirmed as the buyer of the local subsidiaries of Bank of Cyprus and Cyprus
Popular Bank (formerly Marfin), pressure mounts for branches to open after the March 25 public
Piraeus Bank was chosen on Friday to take over the Greek branches of Cypriot lenders, in a deal
that helps shield Greek banks from the island's crisis and allows Cyprus to shrink its bloated
The deal, announced by Greece's bank bailout fund, is subject to approval by European
The fund did not provide further details but officials said Piraeus, the country's No 3 bank, beat
out Alpha Bank in the race for the Greek units of the two biggest Cypriot lenders – Bank of Cyprus
and Cyprus Popular Bank (formerly Marfin). Read more
Arms packages intercepted at Iraklio airport
22 March 2013 ekathimerini
Police at Iraklio airport on Crete on Friday intercepted two packages containing arms that a 50-
year-old man had attempted to send to Thessaloniki and Corfu.
The contents of the packages were detected during a security scan. The packages contained two
air guns, two flare launchers, a taser gun and 100 cartridges.
The 50-year-old suspect was detained for questioning while the would-be recipients of the two
packages were being sought.
Last November, police intercepted a package containing 250 bullets at Iraklio airport.
EOPPY units face closure as doctors' contracts expire
22 March 2013 ekathimerini
There is a serious risk of dozens of local units of the National Organization for Healthcare
Provision (EOPPY), the country's biggest healthcare provider, closing due to the departure of
thousands of doctors, Skai understands.
Of some 6,000 doctors serving at around 200 EOPPY units, most of which were formerly branches
of the Social Security Foundation (IKA), 1,040 are on short-term contracts which are close to
expiring, meaning that the units will soon face an acute shortage of medical staff.
Meanwhile hundreds of doctors from the private sector who had been cooperating with EOPYY
have stopped offering their services, causing problems for Greeks insured with healthcare
providers who must find new doctors.
GSEE predicts unemployment will reach 29 percent this year
22 March 2013 ekathimerini
Greece’s General Confederation of Labor (GSEE), the country’s largest private sector union, said
that its researchers project that unemployment will reach 29 percent by the end of this year,
meaning the number of unemployed Greeks will reach 1.45 million.
The jobless rate in the final quarter of last year reached 26 percent, according to the Hellenic
Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).
GSEE researchers also said that the average gross income in Greece had fallen by 29 percent
since 2009, while the average price of goods and services had risen by 17 percent compared to
Tax officials have no right to access your bank account
20 March 2013 EnetEnglish
Tax officials have no business looking into your bank account, according to the Council of State.
Greece’s highest administrative court has ruled against the government’s latest effort to combat
tax evasion by giving the Financial and Economic Crimes Unit (SDOE) full powers to access any
Greek bank account in order to cross-check with income declared. The court ruled it is
SDOE was reportedly going to start implementing this controversial measure to combat tax
evasion this week.
Based on the ruling, SDOE is still required to obtain a court order to peek in bank accounts.
Demolitions on Crete postponed in view of upcoming tourist season
19 March 2013 news.gtp.gr
Scheduled demolitions of constructions erected illegally on the coast of Crete have been
postponed until the end of the summer, according to Greek press reports.
Following two recent demolitions by decentralized government crews of an illegally built seaside
tavern on Tobruk Beach in Heraklion and an illegal structure of a hotel complex in Malia, the Crete
Travel Agents Association sent a letter to Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and requested for
the postponement of the demolitions until after the tourism season.
In the letter, the travel agents said the images of the island’s demolished establishments made
headlines in the international media and would “scare off” tourists and discourage them to come
to Greece just before the start of the season.
As a result, the general secretary of Decentralized Administration of Crete, Yiorgos Diktakis,
suspended scheduled demolitions until the end of this year’s tourism season.
According to reports, the demolitions will continue in October 2013.
Cretan mayors quit over education overhaul plan
15 March 2013 enet English
Entire councils of Ayios Nikolaos and Ierapetra resign en masse
Two mayors in the island of Crete have resigned in protest at the government’s plans to overhaul
the third-level education system and the deteriorating health service in the country.
Dimitris Kounenakis, Democratic Left mayor of Ayios Nikolaos, and his Pasok counterpart in
Ierapetra, Sifis Anastasakis, informed the Cretan regional authority that they were vacating their
posts on Friday.
The move follows the mass resignation on March 6 of municipal councillors in both towns, which
are both located in Lasithi prefecture, over the third-level issue.
The Athina plan includes the closure of four universities - the University of Central Greece, the
University of Western Greece, the International Hellenic University and the University of Western
Macedonia - as well as of dozens of departments at universities and technical colleges. As a result
of the changes, many students will have to move to a different city in order to complete their
The mayors and councillors will formerly remain in office until the relevant presidential decree
accepting their resignations is signed.
Property tax back on electricity bill
14 March 2013 EnetEnglish
This year’s property tax will not come in a separate bill, but will continue to be levied via electricity
bills this year. So said Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras from Brussels where he is attending a
European Union summit.
The troika has reportedly insisted the tax continue to be attached to the electricity bill.
In response to the news, main opposition Syriza and the two coalition parties Pasok and the
Democratic Left said they do not support the decision. Pasok leader Evangelos Venizelos said he
will try to fight it.
Last year, the Council of State, Greece’s highest administrative court ruled that the tax is legal but
not the penalty of cutting off the electricity of those who fail to pay it. The government had
decided this year’s tax would come in a separate bill.
Greece Regional airports to be privatized
8 March 2013 Capital.gr and ekathimerini.com
International tenders for the privatisation of the country΄s local airports will be launched before
the end of March, Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister
Kostis Hatzidakis announced yesterday.
According to AMNA, he said tenders will be for long-term concessions to exploit the commercial
operation and management of the airports, which will remain the property of the state. He
specified, however, that the new airport of Kasteli (Heraklion) on Crete will be exempted from the
above procedure since it was "targeted at a different class of investors".
Twenty-one regional airports will be split into two groups to be conceded to private investors for
a period of about 30-35 years.
Group 1 will consist of Thessaloniki, Corfu, Zakynthos, Cephalonia, Aktio, Kavala and Hania
airports, with an option for the investor to add those of Alexandroupoli, Araxos and Kalamata.
Group 2 will be the terminals on Rhodes, Kos, Myconos, Santorini, Skiathos, Mytilene and Samos,
with the additional option of Chios, Limnos and Karpathos. Nea Anchialos Airport near Volos may
be added to either of the groups.
It is only the operation and development of the airports that will be conceded, while the state will
retain ownership and monitoring rights through the Civil Aviation Authority.
Sites and state-run museums to close on Monday
8th March 2013 ekathimerini
Archaeological sites and state-run museums will be closed on Monday 11 March due to a strike by
Culture Ministry staff, who also held a 24-hour protest on Friday.
Cretan kindergarten's power supply restored
8th March 2013 ekathimerini
The Public Power Corporation said on Friday that it had reconnected the electricity supply of a
state-run kindergarten on Crete that had failed to pay its bill.
Iraklio Municipality said that the school was part of a new complex completed in September 2012
and a bureaucratic error had led to the electricity bill not being paid.
The municipality complained that the kindergarten, which is attended by about 80 pupils, was not
given any warning that its power would be cut.
PPC cuts electricity supply to about 30,000 customers a month due to unpaid bills.
Greece, Israel and US begin 'Noble Dina' naval exercise off Crete
7th March 2013 ekathimerini
Greece, Israel and the United States on Thursday began a naval exercise in the sea around Crete
and the eastern Mediterranean.
Called “Noble Dina,” it will last 15 days and involves simulated combat against submarines, air
battles and protection of offshore natural gas platforms. The same exercise was held in the
Mediterranean last year.
Greece is participating with a frigate, a helicopter and a submarine.
Student tragedy from makeshift heater
2nd March 2013 Enet
Two students died and a further three remain in critical condition in hospital after being overcome
by fumes from a makeshift brazier they were using to keep warm in Larisa.
The students were discovered when a friend visited the house but received no answer at the
door on Thursday afternoon. She entered using the housekeeper's key and discovered the five
students unconscious. They were taken to hospital but two died.
Two remain stable but in critical condition, while one who was originally in the pulinary unit was
also transferred to the intensive care unit of the University Hospital of Larisa.
The students had apparently made a makeshift brazier from a dismantled boiler.
Autopsies will be carried out on the two dead students, 21 and 22, from Chania, in Crete, and
Halkida, in northern Greece, on Friday.
Court upholds cash limit on purchases
1st March 2013 ekathimerini
Greece’s highest administrative court, the Council of State, on Friday rejected an appeal against a
February 2011 government decision that requires any purchases of products or services worth
over 1,500 euros to be made by credit or debit card.
The measure was introduced as part of an effort to tackle tax evasion but was appealed against
by two consumers.
The judges found that the appellants had not proved how the measure might damage consumers’
Undeclared work on the rise
1st March 2013 Enet
The rate of undeclared employment has reached 36%, rising as much as 44% in some regions,
according to a report drafted by inspectors of the Social Insurance Foundation (IKA) and
submitted to parliament for review by Labour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis.
A total 19,083 inspections were conducted last year. Inspectors discovered 22,006 unregistered
(and thus uninsured workers). About 40% of these workers are immigrants.
Employers were fined a total 11.9m euros.
According to Markos Tountas, director general of IKA’s inspection office, the increase in the
number of undeclared workers is mainly due to higher taxation and high levels of social insurance
contributions. He also noted that a growing number of jobless and undocumented migrant
workers is making it easier for employers to find workers willing to work off the books.
Aegean seeks EU approval for renewed takeover of Olympic Air
28 February 2013 Bloomberg via ekathimerini
Aegean Airlines asked European Union regulators to approve renewed plans to buy Olympic Air
and form Greece’s biggest carrier, two years after the EU blocked a previous attempt over
The European Commission set an initial deadline of April 9 to rule on the deal, it said in a website
Aegean, based in Athens, said in October it would pay 72 million euros ($94 million) for Olympic Air
to help the two unprofitable airlines benefit from cost savings and an extended network. Aegean
will pay cash installments to Marfin Investment Group Holdings SA, which acquired Olympic from
the Greek state in 2009.
The Brussels-based commission refused to allow the two carriers merge in 2011, saying they
would form a quasi-monopoly that would have increased passenger fares in Greece. The EU
yesterday blocked Ryanair Holdings Plc (RYA)’s bid for Irish rival Aer Lingus Group Plc (AERL), more
than five years after a previous takeover was also banned on concerns it would end competition
on some routes.
Roula Saloutsi, a spokeswoman for Aegean, declined to comment on the filing. Olympic Air’s press
office wasn’t immediately available to comment.
Greece Tourism on the Up
27 February 2013 Enet English
The number of British tourists is on the rise (up by 20%), according to Andreas Andreadis,
president of the Association of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises. Speaking to central Bank of Greece
shareholders, he also said the number of German, French and Scandinavian tourists is on the rise
and that 2013 could be a rebound year for the country’s tourism industry. According to Andreadis,
Greece is likely to meet (possibly even exceed) the target of 17m foreign tourists and 11bn euros
in revenue this year. He stressed, however, that investments worth 2.5bn euros are needed.
Horsemeat in Greece
27 February 2013 Enet English
After Ikea was forced on Monday to withdraw its popular meatballs from sale because they were
found to have traces of horsemeat, it has emerged that two Greek companies are under
investigation for importing Bulgarian horsemeat and selling it as beef. As reported in
Eleftherotypia, the Hellenic Food Authority (Efet) and state prosecutor are looking into two
businesses, the official address of one of which is a field. According to Eurostat figures, Greece
imports 74 tonnes of horsemeat every year, but an Efet official has told Eleftherotypia that the
real figure could be ten times that. In a separate case, health officials have seized 13 tonnes of
Romanian meat for inspection.
Talks between ministers, farmers break down
25 February 2013 ekathimerini
Talks between four ministers and unionists representing farmers who have been pushing for tax
breaks and other concessions broke down on Monday, prompting producers to herald further
Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, who met the farmers along with his counterparts holding the
labor, agriculture and environment portfolios, said that the government “listened to the farmers’
demands” but noted that the “possibilities, within the constricting fiscal framework, are small.”
He said the government aimed to offer farmers a special card that would give them discounts on a
special consumption tax on fuel and was also considering introducing legislation that would allow
all farmers to retire after 40 years of service.
Unionists were less positive. “The government gave us nothing,” said Vangelis Boutas, who
heads the association of farmers from Karditsa in central Greece. “For us this is a struggle for
survival; we will scale up our action,” he said, referring to the roadside blockades that farmers
have been holding for several weeks in a bid to wrest concessions.
Smoking ban checks to restart
23 February 2013 ekathimerini
The Health Ministry has announced the return of stricter checks regarding the enforcement of a
smoking ban in public places.
According to the ministry’s general secretary, Christina Papanikolaou, a new circular calls for the
intensification of checks at schools, hospitals, restaurants, bars and nightclubs by inspectors in
charge of the implementation of the law initially introduced in 2010.
The new wave of inspections is expected to meet with opposition from entrepreneurs who argue
that the smoking ban will affect business amid the ongoing financial crisis.
In November 2012, the Council of State ruled that the ban was in keeping with Greek law and the
Constitution, after 150 entrepreneurs and the Panhellenic Federation of Restaurants and Related
Professions filed an appeal against it.
Civil servants arrested over pensions scam
22 February 2013 ekathimerini
Police have arrested five women, including three former employees of the State General
Accounting Office, and one man on suspicion of diverting money destined for pensions into their
own bank accounts.
According to officers, the three public servants identified pensioners who had died or whose
monthly retirement pay had been suspended and then arranged for this money to be transferred
to their own accounts or ones opened by their accomplices.
In the case of pensioners who had died, they changed the addresses recorded on the accounting
office’s computer system so that the families of the deceased would not be aware the pensions
were still being paid.
Police said that the six suspects operated in two teams. One had been active since October 2004
and the other began its activities in October 2011. They allegedly stole almost 550,000 euros of
Seamen to join Feb. 20 general strike
15 February 2013 ekathimerini
The union representing Greek seamen, PNO, said on Friday that it will be joining a nationwide 24-
hour strike called by private and public workers’ organizations GSEE and ADEDY on Wednesday,
February 20, meaning ferries will remain docked throughout the day.
There will also be a media blackout on Tuesday, February 19, as journalists join the action a day
ahead of other unions.
Greece's unemployment is more than double the euro zone's average rate of 11.7 per cent
15 February 2013 Phantis / Reuters
Greece's jobless rate scaled a new record of 27.0 per cent in November from a revised 26.6
percent in October, the country's statistics service ELSTAT said this week.
Greek unemployment was more than double the euro zone's average rate of 11.7 percent in
November as a crippling, austerity-fuelled recession continued to take its toll on the labour market.
Separate surveys showed the country remains stuck in recession and predicted nearly a third of
the population will be in poverty by the end of the year.
Worst affected are the young, with 61.7 per cent of those in the 15-24 age group without a job.
3.6 million Greeks remain employed, but 3.3 million are registered as inactive and 1.35 million are
unemployed, according to the November figures.
Greeks forgo winter heating after jump in fuel tax
7 February 2013 Reuters
A growing number of Greeks are struggling to keep warm after a fuel tax hike aimed at curbing
smuggling and boosting revenues for the cash-strapped state sent heating oil prices up 40
With Greeks already struggling under wage and pension cuts imposed by the foreign lenders that
bailed their country out, many have stopped using heating oil altogether, pushing consumption
down 70 percent in the last three months of 2012 from a year earlier. Read more
Greek workers to strike against austerity on Feb. 20
Greek private sector workers will walk off the job for 24 hours on Feb, 20 to protest austerity
measures prescribed by the country's international lenders, their union GSEE said on Thursday.
Public sector union ADEDY is expected to join the strike, its general secretary Ilias Iliopoulos told
Greece: Top jobless rate in the EU
2 February 2013 ekathimerini
Greece holds the record among all European Union countries in terms of jobless rates.
Eurostat figures released on Friday showed that the unemployment rate in this country stood at
26.8 percent in October 2012, with Spain coming in second with 26.1 percent. Read More
Gov’t using wait-and-see tactics over farmers' protests
31 January ekathimerini
As thousands of farmers gathered at key road junctions around the country on Thursday, pushing
for concessions from a new tax bill, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras chaired a meeting with key
ministers in a bid to stop the burgeoning protest from becoming a new point of conflict between
the government and society.
The growing presence of protesting farmers – and their tractors – at major junctions such as the
one at Nikaia on the Athens-Thessaloniki national highway was reportedly the focus of talks
between Samaras, Agricultural Development Minister Athanassios Tsaftaris and State Minister
Dimitris Stamatis. The majority of the farmers involved in the current blockades are affiliated with
the Communist Party (KKE) though a growing number of protesters are aligned with conservative
Sources told Kathimerini that the government is keen to nip the protests in the bud. But neither
Samaras nor his ministers have taken any concerted action to diffuse the tension, a fact which is
said to have puzzled some government officials. Read more
Greece accepts $31 million bid for Corfu island plot
31 January 2013 AP
Greece's state privatization fund says it has accepted a (EURO)23 million ($31 million) bid from
New York-based investors to develop real estate on the western resort island of Corfu.
It is the first successful deal involving a large plot of state-owned real estate, which accounts for
about 50 percent of Greece's ambitious privatization program.
A fund statement Thursday said NCH Capital will be granted a 99-year concession to exploit the
seaside plot at Kassiopi. The state will retain ownership of the 120-acre (nearly 50-hectare)
forested property, selling what it calls the "right of surface."
The fund said the total investment at Kassiopi is expected to reach (EURO)75 million ($101
million), and will create hundreds of construction jobs.
Diagnostic centers launch EOPYY boycott
30 January 2013 ekathimerini
Doctors and diagnostic centers will refuse to fulfill prescriptions issued by the National
Organization for Healthcare Provision (EOPYY) for blood and other laboratory tests as of Thursday.
Unions representing those working in primary healthcare said that EOPYY still owes them money
from 2012 and previous years. They are demanding a timeline for the payment of the outstanding
Sweden directs jobless youth to Greece
29 January 2013 ekathimerini
Sweden's government-funded employment agency on Monday launched a campaign encouraging
unemployed Swedish youths to look for summer jobs in crisis-stricken Mediterranean countries
including Greece and Spain.
The jobs, most of them in the hotel and entertainment sectors, will mainly serve Swedish tourists.
"We hope our Swedish youths will get every single one of these jobs. These companies have had
good experience of young Swedish workers," said Kristina Gaerdebro Johansson, a European
Employment Services (EURES) advisor at the Swedish agency.
Hundreds of jobs in Greece, Spain, Italy and Cyprus - all popular tourist destinations for Swedes -
will be marketed at a special event organised by the country's employment agency and EURES in
the southern city of Malmoe next week.
The positions include football coaches, aerobics instructors and dancers at hotels and resorts
around the Mediterranean. Some of the jobs require Scandinavian language skills, but not all of
them, said Gaerdebro Johansson. read more
Cretan man jailed for 8 months over illegal pension claims
31 January 3013 ekathimerini
A 55-year-old man from Iraklio, Crete, was sentenced to eight months in jail on Thursday for
failing to pay back his mother’s pension which he claimed illegally after she died.
The country’s main social security fund, IKA, had ordered the man to pay back 16,000 euros out of
the 30,000 he claimed illegally between January 2008 and October 2011.
His offense was discovered when IKA completed an audit of its pensioners last year, its first ever.
The same court handed a six-month jail sentence to a local woman on January 9 for illegally
collecting her dead sister’s pension between March 2005 and October 2011.
4.3 Richter quake off east coast of Crete
29 January 2013 ekathimerini
An moderate undersea earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale was reported to have
struck the area between the islands of Crete and Karpathos in the southeastern Aegean in the
early hours of Tuesday.
According to the Geodynamic Institute of the National Observatory of Athens, the quake struck at
3.48 a.m. on Tuesday and was felt mostly in the Cretan region of Siteia and on the northeastern
coast of the prefecture of Lasithi. It was deemed as being a mild tremor, with its epicenter 18
kilometers west of Karpathos. No damage was reported..
Doctors and seamen to stage protests next week
26 January 2013 ekathimerini
After the disruptions to Athens’s public transport system this week, strike action is due to affect
other services in the coming week, with doctors, nurses and seamen among those who have
planned to walk off the job.
On Thursday, January 31, doctors and other employees at public hospitals are to hold a 24-hour
strike to protest the government’s reorganization of the health sector, which has resulted in the
closure of dozens of departments.
Doctors and diagnostic centers working with the National Organization for Healthcare Provision
(EOPYY) are due to strike the following day to protest a government plan to pay them 20 percent
less than what they were owed by the social security funds that merged to form EOPYY.
Also on Friday, the civil servants’ union, ADEDY, has announced a work stoppage from noon until
the end of employees’ shifts to allow its members to express opposition to health reforms.
Seamen are to stage a 48-hour strike from Thursday as they believe the government’s plan for
coastal shipping will lead to fewer routes and will result in job losses.
Two arrested after Kalashnikov raid on Crete gas station
25 January 2013 ekathimerini
A 28-year-old Greek and a 24-year-old Albanian national were detained on Friday as the
suspected perpetrators of an armed robbery on a gas station in the Cretan port of Hania.
Police traced the suspects based on a description given by the gas station employee who said
one of the robbers threatened him with a Kalashnikov assault rifle while the other hit him, forcing
him to hand over the contents of the cash register in the store.
Police also arrested a 33-year-old man believed to have driven the robbers' getaway car.
Teenagers injured in police chase in Heraklion
25 January 2013 ekathimerini
Two males aged 16 and 19 suffered serious injuries on Crete on Thursday after their motorcycle
crashed as they tried to avoid a police inspection.
The teenagers sped away from a police checkpoint in Iraklio and were being chased by a patrol
car when the rider lost control of the motorcycle.
The two policemen in the squad car, meanwhile, were taken into custody for questioning after a
witness said that one of them kicked the motorcycle while it was in motion when the squad car
pulled up beside it, causing it to veer out of control.
Greek subway staff end strike after police raid
25 January 2013 AP
Striking subway workers in Athens returned to the job Friday, hours after the Greek government
used riot police to evacuate holdouts from a train depot, ending a bitter standoff over new
The nine-day strike - which knocked out a system serving more than a million people a day - was
the biggest labor unrest Greece's uneasy, conservative-led governing coalition faced since taking
over last June. Read more
Gov't to issue civil mobilization orders, minister says
24 January 2013 ekathimerini
Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis on Thursday said the Greek government will issue civil
mobilization orders to make Athens metro staff, who have been on strike for eight days, return to
Hatzidakis, who is responsible for transport, spoke after a four-hour emergency meeting with
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on the issue.
“Unionists have decided to take the path of blind confrontation and not to respect the decisions of
Greek justice,” said Hatzidakis adding that the government was left with no other option.
The prospect measure of civil mobilization – used against seamen, truckers and street cleaners in
2010 and 2011 – means that employees will have to return to work or face the prospect of going
directly to jail.
There was no immediate reaction form the unions.
Earlier on Thursday worker representatives said they would suspend their action if the
government committed to maintaining the collective labor agreement, which expires on April 30,
before negotiating a new deal.
Workers are objecting to a reduction in their salaries that has resulted from their induction into a
new civil service wage structure.
Greek coastal shipping suffers major losses in Aegean, Adriatic
23 January 2013 ekathimerini
The Greek coastal shipping sector has incurred major losses as a result of the ongoing debt crisis,
according to the Hellenic Chambers Transport Association.
The association estimates that during the 2009-2012 period, ferry operators lost over 2.5 million
passengers, 445,000 vehicles and 140,000 trucks on routes servicing the Aegean Sea and the
The association is demanding that both Greek authorities and the European Union develop
initiatives that will safeguard the activities of local coastal shipping companies.
Greece hosted fewer international travelers in 2012
23 January 2013 ekathimerini
International tourist arrivals were down 5.2 percent during the January-September 2012 period,
compared to the same 9-month period last year, according to figures released by Greece’s
statistical authority, ELSTAT, on Wednesday.
According to the agency’s report, the greatest losses (8.3 percent) were recorded in arrivals
stemming from European Union countries.
Fewer visitors travelled to Greece from Poland, France, Belgium, Germany, Bulgaria, Italy and
Holland, for instance, while there was an increase in tourist arrivals from Britain and Russia.
German tourists topped the list of visitors (13.1 percent), followed by British (12.6 percent) and
French travelers (6.6 percent).
Meanwhile, a rise was recorded in arrivals from the United States and a number of Asian countries.
Afghan national gets life in prison for Crete murder
23 January 2013 ekathimerini
A 23-year-old Afghan national has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of 76-year-old
Aikaterini Kokkinou in Livadia, Mylopotamos, on the island of Crete, in November 2011.
The 23-year-old was found guilty of strangling the 76-year-old, who was found covered with a
blanket in her bedroom, along with his accomplice, a 23-year-old compatriot. An international
warrant has been issued for the latter's arrest.
The Hania court handling the case ruled that the motive behind the crime was robbery, for which
the 23-year-old received an extra 15-year prison sentence.
Farmers warn of blockades over production costs
21 January 2013 ekathimerini
Farmers in Thessaly, central Greece, on Monday parked their tractors in town squares to protest
rising production costs caused by repeated hikes in electricity rates.
Meanwhile, Greece’s farmers union warned of blockades should the government snub their
demands for a meeting with the prime minister or the agriculture minister by Friday.
Farmers, who have in the past used their tractors to block national highways and junctions,
object to the government’s new tax law and policy on agriculture.
Queen Mary 2 diverts to Heraklion due to bad weather in Piraeus
17 January 2013 neatv.gr
The presence of the cruise ship Queen Mary 2 in Heraklion port was welcomed by shop keepers
and business owners today, as 2,500 unexpected tourists arrived in the City.
The Queen Mary 2 was bound for the port of Piraeus, but due to bad weather the company asked
that the ship dock in another port and was diverted to Heraklion. The Queen Mary 2 will spend
the day docked in Heraklion before continuing its cruise.
Checks find 36 percent of employees uninsured
16 January 2013 ekathimerini
More than a third of Greek workers are uninsured, checks by the country’s main social security
fund, IKA-ETAM, have found.
In 2012, checks on almost 61,000 people in employment revealed that 36 percent were not
registered to receive social security benefits.
IKA-ETAM said that last year was the first in several when there the proportion of Greek workers
without insurance was larger than that for migrants.
The fund said it inspected just over 19,000 businesses, of which 1,034 had not registered for
social security contributions.
With child poverty rising due to the economic crisis, a team of public policy experts from the
Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB) has called for a state program offering school
meals, noting that pupils could be fed for as little as 3 euros per child per day.
Call for free school meals amid rising child poverty
16 January 2013 ekathimerini
According to the proposal, providing meals to some 750,000 pupils at primary schools would cost
around 400 million euros, or 0.22 percent of gross domestic product per year. Extending the
program to secondary schools, and another 650,000 pupils, would cost 750 million euros or 0.4
percent of GDP. The cost would be lower if subsidized by the pupils’ parents in line with their
income, according to the AUEB team who proposed first targeting schools with a greater
proportion of poor children. The proposal came as the Education Ministry said it had secured 60
million euros in European Union cash to provide fruit, milk and toasted sandwiches to 250,000
primary school children.
Inflation cools down in December
15 January 2013 ekathimerini
Despite the major hike in the price of heating oil this winter, inflation in Greece dropped to just 0.3
percent in December compared with prices a year earlier.
The figures released on Thursday by Eurostat show that Greece had the lowest inflation in the
eurozone last month.
The consumer price index had stood at 0.4 percent in November 2012 and at 2.2 percent in
Bodies of 3 migrants retrieved off Greek island of Chios
13 January 2013 Washington Post via Phantis
Greece’s coast guard says the bodies of three male would-be migrants have been retrieved in the
waters off the eastern Aegean island of Chios.
Two bodies were found Sunday morning by fishermen and the third later by a coast guard vessel.
The men’s national origins were not immediately clear, but they may have been trying to cross
into Greece from Turkey.
A coast guard spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to
speak on the record to media, confirmed that an autopsy on the first two bodies showed they had
Greece in grips of snow
8 January 2013 AMNA and Cretalive
Greece was in the grips of snow and sub-zero temperatures, with heavy snowfall in northern and
eastern Attica, leading to the closure of schools in Dionyssos, Palea Penteli and Nea Penteli, and
snowflakes making their appearance even in downtown Athens on Tuesday.
Several parts of the Attica suburban road network were closed, while snow chains were required
for others. The upper part of Mt. Parnitha has been closed to traffic since Monday, while
temperatures in Athens were not expected to exceed 5C.
Due to the extreme cold, the City of Athens has opened up three municipal buildings on a 24-hour
basis to provide shelter and warm beverages to the homeless, and has activated a four-digit hot-
Piraeus municipality has taken similar precautions, opening up all its senior citizen centers (KAPI)
to provide warmth and shelter.
In Crete Tuesday morning the snow clearance machines were working hard to keep roads open in
mountainous areas where there is snow.
According to the head of the Civil Protection of Crete John Tzanokostaki, snow chains are required
in the areas of Lassithi Plateau, Anogia and Omalos.
Festive retail data point to big sales dive
7 January 2013 ekathimerini
The average drop in retail turnover this past Christmas season has amounted to between 21 and
30 percent from the year-earlier period, according to data compiled by the National Confederation
of Greek Commerce (ESEE), while in some areas the decline reached a staggering 60 percent.
The decision to allow stores to open for an additional Sunday during the holidays (on December
30) failed to produced the revenues expected, as reduced disposable incomes and the bad
weather discouraged consumers from adding to purchases already made before Christmas.
Out of ESEE’s 58 member associations, only three said that their highest consumer traffic was
seen on December 30. According to the confederation, demand peaked on December 23 and 24.
The biggest losers this festive season were apparel retailers, as most consumers have put off
buying clothes and footwear until the sales that are scheduled to begin next Tuesday. Even
spending on children’s toys posted a major decline, according to 45 percent of ESEE member
associations. Books, on the other hand, fared better, as 20 percent of associations saw
purchases remain unchanged while another 10 percent reported an increase.
Winter sales period to begin on Jan. 15
4 January 2013 AMNA
The annual winter sales period in Greece will begin on January 15, and prices are expected to
drop by up to 70 percent from the very first day.
Businesses, as they are disappointed by their holiday sales, are preparing to do their best to
revive the market.
The sales period will last until February 28.
Lagarde list probe unveils large-scale tax evasion
3 January 2013 ekathimerini
A number of Greeks holding accounts at a Geneva branch of HSBC are suspected of major tax
evasion by the Financial Tax Squad (SDOE), according to Kathimerini sources.
According to a SDOE investigation of the so-called Lagarde list, a large number of the 2,062
Greeks figuring on the list are unable to justify their deposits as legally earned income.
The amount of suspected tax evasion is expected to reach dozens of millions of euros while a
number of those holding deposits are expected to face charges once the SDOE probe is concluded.
More pharmacies extending opening hours
3 January 2013 ekathimerini
The liberalization of pharmacy hours appears to be gaining fans as the number of dispensaries
operating on an extended schedule has risen to 219 from 130 last year.
These 219 pharmacies have also hired 430 additional staff as well as 70 pharmacists over the
past year in order to cover the longer operating times, Kathimerini has learned, with owners
saying that even though they are not entitled to join the emergency duty roster, they have seen
business increase. They say that consumers have responded to the new opening hours,
especially in areas where there are only one or two pharmacies on the emergency duty roster.
Pharmacists remain divided over proposals to fully deregulate the sector, especially in regard to
Police seize stolen jewellery worth over 300,000 euros in Heraklion pawn shop raid
1 January 2012 ekathimerini
Police in the Cretan prefecture of Iraklio on Monday confiscated more than 300,000 euros’ worth
of stolen jewelry from a pawn shop and arrested two male employees, aged 38 and 40, as well
as issuing an arrest warrant for the 37-year-old owner of the establishment who had been
absent at the time of the raid.
Officers confiscated more than half a kilogram of jewelry from the home of the 38-year-old suspect.
Road tax payment deadline moved to January 8
1 January 2013 ekathimerini
The deadline for car owners to pay their 2013 road tax has been extended until January 8 as
about 20 percent of motorists had yet to come forward by the original end date of December 31.
There was a last-minute rush, which saw 860,000 vehicle owners pay the levy at tax offices and
banks on Friday, December 29, but the long queues meant many were not able to meet the
By the same date, some 80,000 motorists had handed in their license plates to avoid paying road
tax for another year.
About 100,000 motorists took their vehicles out of circulation last year.
The Finance Ministry said that the government is losing about 30 million euros a year as a result
of motorists handing in their license plates.
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