Cruise ships collide in Greek port of Piraeus; no injuries
28th July 2008 Associated Press

Two cruise ships with hundreds of people on board collided in Greece's main port of Piraeus
Monday causing damage but no injuries, the Merchant Marine Ministry said.
The Malta-flagged Zenith, carrying 1,819 passengers and 619 crew, hit the Greek-flagged
Aegean Pearl as the Zenith attempted to tie up in the port. The Aegean Pearl was carrying
504 passengers and 349 crew members, the ministry said.
Nobody was injured but port authorities were not allowing them to sail until the damage to
both ships was assessed, the ministry said. It said passengers remained on board as the
ships were not in any danger.
The Aegean Pearl had been scheduled to depart Piraeus Monday morning for a cruise
stopping at Mykonos, Kusadasi in Turkey and then continuing to the Greek islands of
Patmos, Crete and Santorini.
The Zenith had arrived in Piraeus after setting off from Venice, Italy, and stopping in Croatia
and the Greek islands of Rhodes, Mykonos and Santorini


Georgian, 30, charged with actor’s murder
28th July 2008 ekathimerini

A 30-year-old man is to appear before a magistrate in Athens today charged with
murdering popular actor Nikos Sergianopoulos, found stabbed to death in his apartment on
June 4 after allegedly drinking heavily and using drugs.
The suspect, a Georgian reported to be in the country illegally, was arrested late Friday.
Police say he has confessed to killing the 56-year-old actor. According to police, the suspect
said Sergianopoulos picked him up at Victoria Square in central Athens on the night of June
3 after inviting him back to his apartment in Pangrati to take drugs. The Georgian alleges
that the actor made aggressive sexual advances while brandishing a knife. He claims he
disarmed Sergianopoulos and stabbed him. The actor’s body was found by his maid. He had
been stabbed 21 times. Police say that fingerprints found at the scene match those of the
30-year-old, who has been arrested for minor offenses in the past.


Rhodes blaze under control after razing 5,000 hectares in six days
28th July 2008 ekathimerini

Firefighters on Rhodes yesterday finally managed to bring under control a fire that had
raged on the island for six days, ravaging some 5,000 hectares of land and forcing the
evacuation of thousands of tourists from hotels.
The blaze, which started near the central village of Laerma on Tuesday before spreading
southward, was finally tamed early yesterday afternoon after the efforts of hundreds of
firefighters were supported by about 100 soldiers and dozens of local volunteers.
Firefighting efforts were assisted by water-dropping aircraft sent by several countries
including Cyprus, France and Italy.
Local authorities said the destruction would have been far less extensive if rescue efforts
had been better managed earlier in the week. “Coordination on the first day was poor,” the
deputy prefect of the Dodecanese, Fotis Hatzidiakos, told Skai Radio and Television.
The forest of Laerma, the main habitat of the local deer, was almost totally razed, according
to authorities who did not say how many animals had died in the flames.
A 61-year-old man was sentenced late Friday to four years in prison for starting a fire in the
village of Aghios Isidoros, a few kilometers northwest of Laerma, which is believed to have
caused the large blaze.
Another fire that broke out yesterday in the area of Psachna, western Evia, had been
partially controlled by late yesterday afternoon. There were no reports of residential areas
being threatened. A forest fire close to the port of Nafpaktos in west-central Greece was
also under control late yesterday afternoon.


Perama Ship Explosion - Vessel’s holds give no clues about cause; two face charges
28th July 2008 ekathimerini

Authorities yesterday continued their search of the holds of the Panama-flagged Friendship
Gas tanker at the port of Perama where an explosion last Thursday caused the deaths of
eight dockworkers, though it remained unclear what provoked the blast.
The explosion occurred during welding work aboard the Friendship Gas tanker, which was
undergoing repairs, according to the Merchant Marine Ministry. The blast provoked a blaze
that firefighters were dispatched to extinguish.

The tanks of the cargo ship had been relatively empty at the time of the blast, according to
firemen who said full fuel tanks would have triggered a massive explosion.
The tanker was used to carry natural gas and there was also speculation that it had not
been cleaned properly before the welding work began.
The vessel’s captain and the ship security officer are to face a prosecutor this week on
charges of negligent manslaughter. A marine chemist may also face charges. The supervisor
of the dockworkers who had been on duty on Thursday is still being sought.


Irishman sentenced for starting fire on Crete
28th July 2008 AFP
A court on the Greek island of Crete has sentenced a 20-year-old Irishman to a suspended
sentence of three months in prison for starting a fire by negligence, the fire department
said on Sunday
The unidentified Irishman burned 500 square metres of brush and olive trees in
Hersonissos, eastern Crete on Friday by setting dry brush alight, the fire department said in
a statement.       He was arrested by firemen soon afterwards.


More than 2,000 tourists have been evacuated as forest fires sweep the Greek island of
Rhodes.
26th July 2008 BBC

Officials in Greece said tourists would return when the smoke cleared.
Over the last four days, the fire has destroyed thousands of acres of pine forest. A blaze
north of Athens has been contained.
France, Italy and Cyprus have sent planes to help fight the fire and water-bombing aircraft
are tackling the blaze.
"Three hotels were evacuated as a precaution, mainly because smoke from the fire had
created an unpleasant atmosphere," said Haralambos Kokkinos, the South Aegean regional
governor.
"The evacuation was orderly and there were no problems. The tourists were taken to the
nearby coast and will remain there until the smoke clears," he added.
On Friday, dozens of villagers fled the fire in the Kryoneri area near Athens. It spread
earlier in the week from Varibombi, 20km (12.5 miles) from the capital.
Last year, at least 65 people were killed during wildfires in southern Greece triggered by
high temperatures, which destroyed 270,000 hectares (666,000 acres) of forest and
farmland.

Blaze forces evacuations near Greek capital
Associated Press 24th July 2008

Greek police and the Fire Service say hundreds of local residents and factory workers have
been evacuated from homes and businesses north of Athens, as a large forest fire forced
authorities to suspend northbound train services and close a section of Greece's main
highway.
The blaze swept through a pine forest in the Varymbobi area, 12.5 miles (20 kilometers)
north of Athens.
Haris Damaskos, deputy regional governor for eastern Attica, says "the factory evacuations
were ordered as a precaution."
Authorities on Wednesday also declared a disaster on the island of Rhodes, where a fire
forced the evacuation of at least two mountain villages but did not threaten the island's
popular tourist resorts


Greece charges Briton with strangling baby
Reuters 23rd July 2008

A Greek prosecutor has charged a 20-year-old British woman with strangling her newborn
baby after giving birth in a hotel room on the Mediterranean island of Crete, a court official
said on Wednesday.
The prosecutor handed the charges to the woman, identified by police as Leah Andrews,
late on Tuesday in a hospital in the Cretan capital Heraklion, where she was being treated
for severe blood loss after giving birth unassisted early on Monday.
Andrews has been given until Thursday to testify before an investigating judge, and under
Greek law could face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.
The court official said that in this case many extenuating circumstances would be taken into
account and prosecutors would not seek the maximum penalty.
Police were notified after the woman's two companions rushed her to hospital in Heraklion,
some 30 km (19 miles) west of Malia, to receive treatment after she gave birth to the baby
at the hotel.
Police found the dead baby in the hotel room with sheets around its neck and covering its
face, a spokesman said. A coroner's report concluded the child was born healthy but had
died of suffocation.


PARENT KILLER - Former mental patient beats elderly mother, father to death in Crete
July 19th 2008 ekathimerini
A 42-year-old Cretan man yesterday faced an Iraklion prosecutor after allegedly
bludgeoning his elderly parents to death with a cudgel on Thursday night in the prefecture
of Iraklion. The man, who had spent time in psychiatric institutions in the past, was found
by police in a local cafe shortly after the alleged double killing. The suspect’s latest
discharge from a clinic had been approved by his 86-year-old father and 80-year-old
mother, according to police.


MEDICINE PRICES - Hikes and cuts from Monday
July 19th 2008 ekathimerini

Prices of certain medicines are to change as of Monday, the Development Ministry said
yesterday, noting that some will drop by up to 55 percent while others will increase by up
to 59 percent. The medicines Lonarid and Salospir, used to treat thrombosis, are among 29
drugs that will be dearer, going up by 50 percent and 39 percent respectively. The price
reductions for 13 imported medicines will boost the coffers of insurance funds by more than
1 million euros a year, the ministry said.


Doctor and teacher linked to child porn
17th July 2008 ekathimerini

A doctor from Zakynthos has been arrested and police are looking for a secondary school
teacher from  Rethymno, Crete in connection with the storage and distribution of child
pornography.
The electronic crimes squad said they moved in on the unnamed suspect on Zakynthos
following a seven-month investigation that involved foreign police forces. The teacher has
not been arrested because he is away on vacation, sources said.
The two men are suspected of collecting and exchanging hardcore pornography involving
children. Officers are investigating possible links to pedophiles in Greece and abroad and
say there may be more arrests.
Over 20 people were arrested in Greece two months ago as part of an international
crackdown on child pornography.


Cannabis Farm
16th July Haniotika Nea

Crete Police investigating a tip off yesterday discovered a cannabis plantation with more
than 1,400 trees between 1.2 and 5.1 meters high in Nio Horio, Armeni, Chania. Officers
arrested one man, a foreign national, and uprooted the plants. The plantation had an
automatic watering system and was spread over 0.2 hectares, hidden in the middle of an
orange grove.
On Monday Chania police arrested a man in Horafakia, Akrotiri where they found 93
saplings of cannabis cultivated in the courtyard of a residential house.


Strong Rhodes quake kills one
16th July 2008 ekathimerini
A strong earthquake, measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, shook the island of Rhodes in the
eastern Aegean Sea just before 6.30 a.m. yesterday, resulting in the death of a 56-year-old
woman who slipped and hit her head while fleeing from her home.
The tremor, whose epicenter was pinpointed off the southern coast of the island, was felt  
in Crete and even Cyprus.
But it caused only minor damage – a couple of minor rockfalls and a few cracks in the walls
of old hotels.
Seismologists explained that the island was “saved” by the depth of the quake’s epicenter,
some 70 kilometers below the sea. They said strong aftershocks were not expected and
advised local authorities and residents to remain calm.
It was panic that provoked the one death yesterday. The 56-year-old woman slipped and
hit her head on the stairs of her apartment building in her haste to get out. Her 2-year-old
granddaughter, who she had been carrying at the time, was not hurt. Another five
islanders sustained minor injuries.


Battling Wildfires
16th July 2008  2008 NET  

The several blazes that broke out across Greece have evoked painful memories of last year’
s devastating wildfires. The fire that broke out Wednesday noon near the Markopoulos
beach and headed towards Skala Oropou licked house yards and caused damage to a built-
up area. Fanned by the strong winds blowing in the area, the blaze is likely to spread
elsewhere. Twenty-four fire engines, 60 firefighters, three helicopters and seven scooping
airplanes are battling the blaze. In the meantime, the fire that broke out in the early hours
of Wednesday at the Aspropyrgos industrial zone has been contained. However,
firefighters are still trying to fully extinguish it. The Aspropyrgos fire has burned 6 company
warehouses and a small number of smaller storage facilities, while no residences have
been damaged. Finally, the two major wildfires that have been ravaging the area near the
central Greek town of Oinoi since Tuesday have been brought under control.


Zakynthos ‘sex contest’ participants charged
15th July 2008 ekathimerini

Nine women have been detained on prostitution charges after allegedly taking part in oral
sex competitions on the Ionian island of Zakynthos over the weekend, police said
yesterday.
Police in Athens originally said that the women involved were British but Reuters cited local
police on Zakynthos as saying that they were Eastern European bar workers. British
Foreign Office officials said no British women had been involved.
The “contests” had been recorded and was destined for distribution on the Internet, police
said.
Six foreign men and six Greek men, including two bar owners, were charged with
encouraging obscene behavior.
The alleged incidents took place in two bars at Laganas, southeastern Zakynthos, popular
with thousands of young Britons for its wild party scene


Cretan suspect given more time to prepare his defense
15th July 2008 ekathimerini

A 32-year-old Cretan farmer, charged in connection with an ambush at a cannabis
plantation near Iraklion that left three police officers injured, has been given until tomorrow
to prepare his testimony for a magistrate investigating the case. The suspect denies any
connection with the incident, which occured on June 23 in the area of Malades in Iraklion
prefecture not far from his home. A senior police officer, who was injured in the raid and is
the only person who saw the assailant, said the 32-year-old was not the gunman
Summer Sales begin
15th July 2008 ekathimerini
Summer sales officially begin today in Greek  retail stores, despite the fact that many had
already begun to offer discounts. The official sales season runs until August 30. For any
complaints, shoppers should call the General Secretariat for Consumer Affairs on 1520


Measures to Combat Profiteering
14th July ERT

In an interview today, Tourism Development Minister, Aris Spiliotopoulos expressed
reserved optimism with regards hotel bookings this year. Mr. Spiliotopoulos, however, made
clear that there will be strict fines against those attempting profiteering in the tourist
sector, regardless of whether the tourists are Greeks or foreigners, underlining that the
"rake off" era belongs to the past. In reference to rise in tourism he said that arrivals of
German tourists rose by 5%, Belgian and Italians by 6% , Dutch by 8% and Russians by
32% compared to last year figures.


Horn vs nose
10th July 2008 ekathimerini

A 20-year-old Greek man was among several Spaniards and tourists to be injured in the
Spanish town of Pamplona yesterday, the third day of a centuries-old bull-running festival.
The Greek suffered a broken nose and other facial injuries during the bull run and was
admitted to hospital for treatment. His injuries were relatively light. A 22-year-old
Californian man was gored in the abdomen while others suffered broken ribs


Cervical cancer vaccines
7th July 2008 ekathimerini

The Social Security Foundation (IKA) will start offering free vaccines against cervical cancer
for all girls aged between 12 and 15 in September, Labor Minister Fani Palli-Petralia said
yesterday, a day after a cancer awareness-raising group slammed IKA for allegedly failing
to make good on a Health Ministry decision last February. The launch of a subsequent drive,
offering vaccines to women aged between 16 and 26, is to follow later next year.



SYRIZA's Offices in Chania Attacked
1st July 2008 NET-ANA-MPA

SYRIZA’s (Coalition of the Radical Left) offices in Chania, Crete, were badly damaged when
an explosive device planted at the offices’ façade went off in the early hours of Tuesday.
The strong bomb blast created a small crater. The apartment above the offices was also
damaged but the owner wasn’t hurt, as he was away at the time. Police cordoned off the
area, while SYN official Kostas Marmatakis condemned the attack, branding it as a criminal
one. Head of SYRIZA’s parliamentary group Alekos Alavanos is expected Wednesday to pay
a scheduled visit to Chania.


Manhunt in Malades still Fruitless
1st July 2008 NET

The manhunt to locate the gunman who opened fire on three police officers in a cannabis
plantation in Malades, Crete, has yet to yield results. Although suspects are being brought
to police for questioning, no evidence on the case has been produced. Theodoros
Gennitsarides, one of the three policemen, is still in a critical condition at the intensive care
unit of the Herakleion University Hospital, while Giorgos Poulianakis is getting better.

In the meantime, another cannabis plantation was located in the village of Kentriko,
southern Greece. Police seized a 50-year-old man, who was watering the cannabis trees,
and confiscated about nine kilos of cannabis after searching his house.


Hiking woes
30th June 2008 ekathimerini

A 56-year-old Greek hiker was found dead in the mountains of Pentalofo, near Kozani in
northern Greece. The rescuers who recovered his body said it seems he slipped off a
precipice. Meanwhile, two Polish teachers, aged 31 and 45, missing since early Friday after
embarking on a walking trip in the Cretan region of Hania, were found safe on Saturday.
The pair had been part of a group of around 25 Poles but had wandered off on their own.


Passengers rescued as ferry runs aground
June 29, 2008 www.theage.com

A Greek ferry that hit a rocky islet in the Aegean managed to sail safely to shore after being
escorted by dozens of Coast Guard boats, planes and helicopters, the Greek Merchant
Marine Ministry said.
Rescuers rushed to the ship Theofilos, which was making a scheduled voyage from the
Aegean island of Mytilini to Chios with 475 passengers and 97 crew, when the vessel ran
aground on a rocky islet on Saturday.
The ship managed to sail slowly to the small port of Oinousses, an island about 14 nautical
miles from the island of Chios.
Smaller boats had transferred passengers from the vessel to the port, the ministry said.
The ship had suffered a gash in the hull, and oil appeared to be leaking. Authorities could
not say how much oil was leaking.
The crew initially directed passengers to lifeboats but then called off the evacuation saying
that the ship was able to advance to Oinousses. Shortly afterward, however, passengers
were asked to board small tourist boats and transferred to the nearest large island, Chios.


Rectors' Elections in Chania Postponed
26 June 2008 ANA

Today’s elections of the Crete Technical University Rectors were postponed, as students
have been staging a sit-in since last night. The students are reacting to the implementation
of the new framework-law on Education

The students locked the doors of the Rectors’ building, as well as those at the Technical
School in Akrotiri, where the sit-in was taking place.

Rector Ioakim Grispolakis stated that efforts would be made so that the elections are held
on 28 June.

He also stressed that the Rectors’ term ends on 31 August, adding if no new Rector or
deputy Rectors are elected by then, the University will suspend its activities as of 1
September.


Water aid
27th June 2008 ekathimerini

Greek ships have been dispatched to start delivering some 8 million cubic meters of water
to drought-stricken Cyprus, Environment and Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias said
yesterday. Souflias, who yesterday signed an agreement with Cypriot Agriculture Minister
Michalis Polynikis, said that Greece’s own water supplies are not running low at the moment
but also called on consumers not to waste water.


Three policemen injured, one critically, in ambush by cannabis growers in Crete
Associated Press 22nd June 2008

Three policemen were injured, one critically, Sunday evening, when they were ambushed by
gunmen on the island of Crete, police said.
The three were part of an operation to arrest marijuana growers in the resort village of
Malades, 9 miles (15 kilometers) south of Heraklion, Crete's largest city.
At 8:30 p.m. local time (1730 GMT), the police patrol was attacked by people armed with
assault rifles, most likely AK-47s, police said. The three police officers were taken to a
hospital in Heraklion.
Greek police chief Vassilis Tsiatouras ordered a detachment of special forces and officers
from the narcotics and homicide divisions to leave immediately for Crete in the wake of the
shootings.
Gun ownership, regarded as part of traditional Cretan culture, remains widespread on the
island despite attempts by police to crack down on it.
Cannabis growing is rife in remote mountain villages, and drug gangs frequently open fire
on police helicopters or cars patrolling their areas.
Last November, a large convoy of policemen was ambushed near the village of Zoniana,
leading to a major police operation and dozens of arrests.
At a meeting of top policemen last month, Tsiatouras pointed at statistics showing
increased crime in Crete and singled out police chiefs from the island for criticism, telling
them to do more to combat crime, especially drug-related robberies and theft.


Ferry Fares to Crete Go Up
22nd June 2008 NET

Travel agents see a drop in passengers wishing to travel to the islands due to high fares.
At the same time ferry companies are threatening to stop traveling to remote islands as of
September if their problems are not solved.
A ticket on deck will go up to 35 euros from 32 for those traveling to Heraklion, while fares
for Chania will rise from 30 to 33 euros.


Fires in Crete
21st June 2008 NET

The fires at Gournes and Pompia, Heraklion in Crete were put under control late noon.
Although the fire that broke out in Gournes threatened residences, it was put under full
control in time. Two fire-fighting planes that are heading to Heraklion to help in containing
the fire. The fire turned to ashes 200,000 square metres of grassland, while seven fire
engines and 17 firemen helped in extinguishing the fire.
Another fire broke out in Foinikia, west of Selia, Rethymno burning grassland. Eight fire
engines, 20 firemen and one fire-fighting helicopter fought the flames.

Meanwhile, Kalamos (near Athens) inhabitants spent a difficult night, as the fire that had
broken out there yesterday afternoon, was put under control Saturday morning. Two
houses were burnt and others sustained serious damages, while grassland and pine trees
covering an area of 35,000 square metres were turned to ashes.
In parallel, another fire broke out at Attiko Alsos in Galatsi yesterday evening. The fire was
put out before it spread. Meanwhile, the General Secretariat of Political Protection issued a
warning for high risk of fires for today in eastern Attica, Evia, Crete, Lesvos, Chios, Samos
and Ikaria.
Finally, Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis stated that the City of Athens will set up a Group
of Special Needs to help firemen in their work.


Samaria death
20th June 2008 ekathimerini
A 62-year-old British man collapsed and died while walking through the Samaria gorge on
Crete with a group of 50 other holidaymakers Wednesday. The group had set out from the
town of Rethymnon early in the morning. During the afternoon the man, whose name was
not given, was taken ill and lost consciousness. Two doctors called to the scene from the
nearest village of Aghia Roumeli were unable to resuscitate him.


Romanian linked to trade in human eggs
20th June 2008 ekathimerini

Police in the Cretan port of Hania were yesterday questioning a 41-year-old Romanian man
alleged to have been illegally trading in eggs removed from the ovaries of two Romanian
women being detained against their will.
The man is alleged to have locked the two women, aged 20 and 27, in an apartment in
Hania and injected the elder of the two with a drug that is believed to boost egg
production. He is thought to have been operating with the assistance of a Romanian
woman who is being sought by police.
The pair are believed to have been selling the eggs for between 600 and 2,000 euros each,
though it is unclear whether the eggs were being sold to clinics or individual doctors.
Police are trying to determine whether the younger detainee was also subjected to the
same injections.


Queues and fisticuffs for new land register
19th June 2008 ekathimerini

Interest in the land registry increased yesterday, as some 40,000 Greeks went to submit
their paperwork on just the second day of the process to record millions of properties on
the country’s first cadastre.

Following a busy first day, yesterday proved even more hectic, with a 30 percent rise in the
number of people visiting land registry offices, the busiest of which continued to be the one
in Syntagma Square in central Athens.

Most applicants came prepared for a long wait after the considerable lines on the first day
but this did not prevent two elderly men from exchanging blows in Syntagma.

There were also pleas from staff for citizens not to visit the offices just for general inquiries
but to call the 1015 helpline. Extra numbers were also set up yesterday and those looking
for more information can call 210.65.05.600.


MORE QUAKES
Mild tremors strike island of Karpathos and Peloponnese
19th June 2008
A strong earthquake, measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale, struck Argos, in the Peloponnese,
just before 5 a.m. yesterday, and was felt in many parts of Athens. There were no injuries
or damage reported after the quake. A second tremor, measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale,
occurred off Karpathos, in the southern Aegean, shortly after 10 a.m. The second quake’s
epicenter was located beneath the seabed off the island’s eastern coast.


Heating up
18th June 2008 ekathimerini

Meteorologists said yesterday that people should not be concerned by the fact that the
temperature in some parts of the country will reach as high as 39 Celsius (102 Fahrenheit)
today and tomorrow. “A sudden rise in temperature is not unusual in June,” the head of the
National Weather Service, Dimitris Ziakopoulos, told Kathimerini yesterday. “The heat will
not last for long and buildings will not have a chance to absorb heat as the temperature will
drop to between 20C (68F) and 22C (72F). Ziakopoulos did not rule out the possibility of
another hot spell before the end of the month.


Bright spark
18th June 2008 ekathimerini

Firefighters were called yesterday to put out several small fires caused by a train that was
emitting sparks as it traveled through Lianokladi in Fthiotida, north of Attica. It is estimated
that the sparks caused more than 15 fires when they landed in dry brush. All the fires were
extinguished before any serious damage was done. The fire service indicated that the
Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) should have done more to clear dry shrubbery from
near its tracks.


Student protest
16th June 2008 ekathimerini
Students clashed with police on Saturday outside a hotel in the Cretan port of Hania where
university deans were having a convention. The students, who were protesting university
reforms, threw stones and paint at police officers who responded by firing tear gas. One
protester and one officer sustained minor injuries. Education Minister Evripidis Stylianidis,
who attended the convention, said he was open to dialogue with university students and
professors.



UK military says its stricken nuclear submarine is in Crete for damage assessment
Associated Press 11th June

Britain's military says its stricken nuclear-powered submarine has arrived in Crete for
essential repairs and a damage assessment.
The HMS Superb hit an underwater mountain while diving in the Red Sea on May 26. The
crash knocked out the vessel's sonar and damaged its ballast tanks although the
submarine's nuclear reactor was unaffected.
The damage has confined the 32-year-old vessel to the sea's surface.
The Ministry of Defense said Tuesday that the submarine was now at NATO's facility at
Souda Bay in Crete.
The ministry said the nuclear submarine would stay there for a short while but did not go
into specifics.


Greek industrialist's abductors demand 50 mln euros
June 11th  Reuters

The kidnappers of a prominent Greek industrialist are asking for 50 million euros to release
him, police said on Wednesday.
George Milonas, 49, chairman of the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece and CEO
of aluminium company Alumil, was snatched at gunpoint late on Monday outside his home in
the northern city of Thessaloniki by unknown assailants.
"A person claiming to know Milonas's whereabouts contacted his wife early this morning
demanding 50 million euros for his release," a police official who declined to be named told
Reuters.
Kidnappings in Greece are rare but the country suffered a spate of assassinations of
businessmen and diplomats from 1975 to 2003, mostly the work of the now-dismantled
November 17 group of extreme leftist urban guerrillas.
Although the abduction of Milonas is not considered to be the work of urban guerrillas,
authorities have not ruled it out.
Road blocks have been set up throughout the city and across northern Greece. Police have
set up tight controls at the country's northern borders with Macedonia, Bulgaria and Albania
to prevent the culprits fleeing.
Milonas is married with three children and has been CEO of Alumil group since 1988. The
business is active throughout Greece, the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East.


Greek engineers inspect building safety, fearing quake aftershocks
10th June 2008 The Associated Press

Civil engineers were inspecting building safety in southwestern Greece on Tuesday, two
days after the region was struck by a powerful earthquake that killed two people and
injured 240.
Seismologists have said a strong aftershock is expected in the coming days or weeks, and
authorities are concerned that buildings damaged in the quake could collapse. They have
warned people not to approach damaged buildings, and have set up tents in several areas
for those left homeless.
The Athens Geodynamic Institute gave a preliminary magnitude of 6.5 for the quake, which
struck Sunday afternoon near the western port city of Patras, about 120 miles (200
kilometers) west of Athens. Seismologists have said an aftershock could reach a magnitude
of 5.5.
The Interior Ministry said 202 buildings were flattened or partially collapsed, and 954
suffered lighter damage or cracks. By Tuesday morning, 240 people had sought medical
treatment for injuries sustained during the quake, and 24 remained in hospitals.
Residents were still being kept away from three villages that were evacuated late Monday
for fear of rock falls or landslides triggered by the dozens of small aftershocks rattling the
area.
Local authorities in the provinces of Ahaia and Ilia said they were shutting down all
kindergarten and elementary schools early for the summer so the buildings can be checked.
Many of the affected areas were at the heart of devastating forest fires in August that killed
66 people and burnt hundreds of homes.

Strong Quake Hits Greece
8th June 2008     CNN

A strong earthquake jolted western Greece on Sunday, killing at least two people and
trapping several people beneath collapsed buildings, according to officials and state-run
media.
Another 37 were hurt as a result of the quake, many as they tried to flee their homes,
Greek Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said at a news conference in Athens.
The temblor struck around 3:30 p.m. [8:30 a.m. ET] and measured 6.1 in magnitude,
according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Athens' Geodynamic Institute registered the quake
at 6.5 on the Richter scale -- which is no longer used by the USGS.
Its epicenter was located about 20 miles [32 kilometers] southwest of the Greek port city of
Patras.
Pavlopoulos immediately dispatched a rescue and recovery team, which includes members
of five government agencies, to assess the damage and needs in the quake-stricken
Peloponnese region.
So far, most of those reported trapped have been removed -- including a 43-year-old
villager who died after his house collapsed on him, the interior minister said. The other
victim died of a heart attack while being rushed to the hospital, he said.
"This is a very serious quake, but there will be no evacuations," Pavlopoulos said.
It was "no surprise" that a strong quake hit in the area, where earthquakes are common,
according to Geodynamic Institute director Gerasimos Papadopoulos.
People in Athens -- about 80 miles [129 kilometers] east of the epicenter-- felt the ground
shake for as long as 20 seconds.
Due to its fault lines, Greece is one of the most quake-prone countries in the European
Union. A quake and aftershock both measuring over 6.4 in magnitude struck near Kalamata
off the southern coast of the Peloponnese peninsula in mid-February, causing no major
damage or injuries.
The last major earthquake in Greece was in 1999 and left about 100 people dead.


PARNITHA ALERT - Fire service puts out blaze near homes in Afidnes
7th June 2007 ekathimerini

Firefighters were called to put out several fires near Mount Parnitha, north of Athens,
yesterday. The most serious fire was near Afidnes, just some 500 meters from homes in the
area. Water-dropping planes were also enlisted in the effort to put out the blaze, which
was reported to be under control last night. The forest on Mount Parnitha was devastated
by fire last summer.


Plane misses Santorini runway
6th June ekathimerini

Two pilots of an air force reconnaissance plane were taken to the hospital on Santorini
yesterday after their aircraft overshot the runway during landing. The pilots' lives were not
in any danger but the plane was destroyed following the incident, which occurred at about
7 a.m. The plane overshot the runway by around 50 meters, probably due to a failure in its
hydraulic system.


Murdered Actor's funeral
6th June ekathimerini

Dozens of people gathered yesterday in Drama, northeastern Greece, for the funeral of
actor Nikos Sergianopoulos, who was found dead in his apartment in Athens on
Wednesday morning. He had been stabbed 21 times. The 56-year-old played in a number
of television series as well as theater roles. Police said that the fingerprints they collected
from the actor's home and car did not match any that were already in their records.


Actor knifed to death at home
5th June 2008 ekathimerini

Soap opera actor Nikos Sergianopoulos was found stabbed to death in his apartment in
Pangrati, eastern Athens, yesterday morning.
Police said the 56-year-old had been stabbed seven times. There were no signs of any
forced entry at the property. Officers said that a number of empty bottles and beer cans
were found on the premises. They believe that the murderer was one of the people who
had been in the apartment with Sergianopoulos late on Tuesday night.
The actor’s body was found face down and in a pool of his own blood by the cleaning lady.
Coroner Philippos Koutsaftis said that Sergianopoulos had probably been stabbed in the
back first.
The actor ran into trouble last December when he was caught with 40 grams of cocaine,
which forced him to publicly admit that he used drugs and was a heavy drinker.


GREEKS ABROAD - PM pledges to discuss voting
5th June 2008 ekathimerini

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said yesterday that his government would soon begin
talks with opposition parties about conferring on all Greeks abroad the right to vote.
Karamanlis said that he hoped there would be some developments on the issue this year.
He made the comments after meeting with the president of the World Council of Hellenes
Abroad (SAE), Stefanos Tamvakis


Culture minister in Crete
1st June 2008 ANA-MPA

Culture Minister Mihalis Liapis, concluding his visit to locations falling under the jurisdiction
of his ministry, said on Saturday that the island of Crete is a top priority for the ministry due
to its cultural heritage.

The minister also pledged initial funding amounting to 500,000 euros for the Archaeological
Museum in Iraklio and the Fort of Koule. As regards the rest of the funds that will be
required, the minister said that an effort will be made to obtain funds from the 4th
Community Support Framework (CSF).

He added that this is a public commitment because the Archaeological Museum of Iraklio
and Knossos are gems for the island.

Liapis also visited the Pancritio Stadium and was given a guided tour of its premises,
accompanied by local officials, and said that the stadium will be handed over to the
municipality of Iraklio in a month at the most.




________________________________________________________________________
Copyright 2004-2012  Carol Palioudaki. Latest News in Crete & Greece.   www.livingincrete.net
Living in Crete
Index > Latest News
Living in Crete guide book
News Archive
in Crete & Greece
June & July 2008
Now Out in  Paperback

'Living in Crete .
A Guide to Living,  Working,
Retiring
& Buying Property in Crete'
Click here for details

Available to buy online
and in
Crete bookshops
forum
Index > Latest News
News Archive