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NEWS Archive
More news from Living in Crete on:
News Archive
Crete & Greece
March to April 2009
Vigilance and Protection Measures
30th April 2009 ERT

No swine-flu case has been detected in Greece. However, authorities are on alert, stepping up all the
necessary protection measures in hospitals and airports throughout the country. In particular, the
Athens International Airport was equipped Wednesday morning with four thermal cameras capable of
detecting passengers whose temperature exceeds 38C.

Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos made it clear that no swine flu cases were reported in Greece,
assuring that all necessary measures have been taken.
In the meantime, several hospitals in Athens and other major Greek cities are on standby.
The Greek authorities are in constant contact with the World Health Organisation and the European
Union.


Plane crash kills 2 Israelis in Kefallonia
30th April 2009 ekathimerini

Rescue workers in a helicopter yesterday morning located the bodies of two Israeli nationals amid the
wreckage of a light aircraft on the slopes of Mount Ainos on the Ionian island of Cephalonia.
The single-engine Cirrus SR22 aircraft had disappeared off radar screens late on Tuesday after putting
out a distress call while flying northwest of Zakynthos, another island in the Ionian group, defense
officials said.
Rescue workers recovered the bodies of a man and a woman from the wreckage in a ravine on
Cephalonia but no details were released about their identities, except that they were Israelis believed
to be on vacation. The pair had used the plane to fly from Israel to Kos in the southern Aegean and
then northward to Zakynthos before the collision on Cephalonia, officials said. It was unclear whether
the crash was provoked by the high winds that had been blowing in the area at the time.


Mother-to-be dies
30th April 2009 ekathimerini

An autopsy is expected to cast some light on the death of a woman in her eighth month of pregnancy
at a hospital on Crete on Tuesday. The 33-year-old woman was admitted to an Iraklion hospital on
Monday night after complaining of stomach and chest pains. Doctors carried out tests after establishing
that the pain was not linked to her pregnancy and put her under observation. She died the following
morning, as did her baby.

                                                                                                                       

Acropolis museum to open June 20th 2009
27th April 2009 AFP
The ultra-modern Acropolis museum, situated below the ancient landmark that defines the Greek capital
Athens, will belatedly open in June, Greek Culture Minister Antonis Samaras said Sunday.
"We are preparing a jewel of a museum whose opening on June 20 will be a major,
different points along the road in Peristeri, western Athens, where Alter is located. The fact that the
bullets were scattered over a stretch of 500 meters and that witnesses saw two suspect cars on the
road suggested to officers that the shots may have been fired during a chase between two vehicles.
Nevertheless, the government and opposition parties condemned the alleged attack on the TV station,
which was also the target of an armed raid in February, claimed by the Sect of Revolutionaries urban
guerrilla group.



Price of fresh milk on its way down
24th April 2009 ekathimerini

Listed food group Vivartia announced yesterday a 25 percent cut in the retail price of fresh milk of the
Delta brand, in a bid to recover the market share it has lost over the past few years.
Andreas Vgenopoulos, vice president of Marfin Investment Group which owns Vivartia, revealed on Skai
Radio that fresh milk will go on sale at supermarkets at 1 euro per liter, down from an average 1.35
euros and at 1.20 euros in bakery stores and small shops, against a previous average of 1.58 euros.
He also announced that the company is revoking its previous decision to cease its cooperation with milk
producers in Thrace, in an effort to reverse the climate in the market in its favor. Consumer groups had
staged boycotts against milk brands that sold at over 1 euro per liter, while the industry has been the
focus of repeated investigation by the Competition Commission.



Hoodies law - Bill imposes strict penalties for vandals wearing hoods
24th April 2009 ekathimerini

A bill introducing strict penalties for people wearing hoods who are caught vandalizing public property
or disturbing the peace was tabled in Parliament yesterday. The new tougher measures were
introduced after hooded youths smashed up stores and cars in the upmarket Athens district of Kolonaki
last month. The bill also contains provisions aimed at decongesting Greek jails and envisions the
release of those imprisoned as a result of their inability to buy off relatively short prison terms. It also
foresees community service for mothers of children aged under 6 in lieu of imprisonment, apart from
those convicted of serious crimes.


Three hurt by Easter fireworks and bonfire
21st April 2009 ekathimerini

At least three people sustained serious injuries over the Easter holiday weekend, two after
mishandling traditional fireworks and a third due to a bonfire.
The worst case involved a 27-year-old man who lost his right arm shortly after midnight mass on
Saturday after setting off a homemade firework in Nea Peramos, western Attica. On Easter Sunday, a
15-year-old youth in the Cretan port of Hania suffered serious burns after trying to throw gasoline at a
bonfire that held an effigy of Judas Iscariot. The bottle containing the gasoline caught fire, badly
burning the youth’s arms. Later on Sunday, a 13-year-old boy was hurt after a homemade flare he
picked up in the street in the coastal suburb of Neo Faliron exploded in his hands. There were reports
of several people suffering partial or total loss of hearing after standing too close to fireworks going off.

























Rat bite
16th April 2009 ekathimerini

A rat bit a patient who was recovering from surgery in Rethymnon Hospital on Crete, the local hospital
workers union said yesterday. A union spokesman said that the patient was bitten on the hand on
March 25. A visitor killed the rat.


Vendetta murder in Piraeus, for a 1977 Rethymnon murder
13th April 2009  patris.gr

Police fear a vendetta revival after 32 years in the cold blooded murder yesterday in Nikaia, Athens of a
73 year old from Asi Gonia Crete.  Yiannis Papadonikolakis and his wife were walking down the street in
Nikaia, Piraeus when a young man approached and shot him 6 times in front of many witnesses, before
escaping on a motorcycle.
The young man was described as around 25 years old and wearing a baseball cap.

The 73 year old victim was convicted in 1977 of killing a fellow Cretan outside a club in Rethymnon over
a land dispute. After serving a long  sentence for murder,  he left Crete and settled in Piraeus on his
release.
His wife claimed, after the shooting “It was the Cretan vendetta which killed him”, suggesting
yesterday’s perpetrator was a family member of the man whom Papadomikalakis had killed in 1977.

Rethymnon police sent forces to the village of Asi Gonia, Rethymnon yesterday in fear of reprisals.
However, information indicated that the children of  the 1977 victim do not live in Asi Gonia but in
Chania and other parts of Greece.


Bullying on the rise at schools and online
13th April 2009 ekathimerini


One in four schoolchildren has been the victim of bullying, a problem well documented in other countries
but only now appearing in Greece, experts say.
A study by the Association for the Psychosocial Health of Children and Adolescents in Athens shows
that 22.5 percent of schoolchildren have suffered some form of verbal or physical bullying - in the
schoolyard, the classroom or even on the Internet. «Intimidation has arrived in Greek schools and is
affecting hundreds of children,» said Stamatis Antoniou, psychology professor at Manchester Business
School. Antoniou said most victims were depressive and anti-social and called on teachers to encourage
them to communicate.
In a related development, police in Athens said they had traced four young people who had posted
messages on the Internet expressing their intention of taking their own lives.



Greek student shoots, wounds three; kills self
10th April 2009 Reuters

A Greek student angry at how his schoolmates treated him shot and wounded a fellow student and
two workers at a training institute in Athens on Friday before killing himself, police said.

The 18-year-old gunman shot a 19-year-old at a state unemployment agency vocational school in
western Athens, then fired several shots at two men working at a nearby construction site before
turning the pistol on himself.

"It is the first time such a thing happens in Greece, we've never had anything like this before," Dimitris
Souras, a health ministry psychiatrist supporting the victims, told reporters.

The gunman shot himself in the head and died later in hospital, a police official said. Of the three
wounded in the attack, the 19-year-old student was in serious condition.

Police said the assailant, an ethnic Greek who emigrated to Athens from Georgia's breakaway region of
Abkhazia, had two weapons and carried a note saying he had not been treated well by his peers.



Voting abroad - Opposition parties reject bill
9th April 2009 ekathimerini

Opposition parties PASOK, the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) and the Communists late on
Tuesday voted against a bill that would allow Greeks living abroad to vote in Greece’s general elections
in their countries of residence. Parliament Speaker Dimitris Sioufas said there was no point in the bill
being debated any further as the ruling conservatives need 200 of the 300 MPs in Parliament to vote in
favor of it for it become law.


Greek student dead in Italy quake
8th April 2009 ekathimerini

Italian rescue workers yesterday pulled the body of a 28-year-old Greek student from the rubble of his
apartment in L’Aquila, the central Italian town razed by a 6.3-magnitude earthquake that struck on
Monday, killing more than 200 people, after several hours of efforts to save him.

Workers had located Vassilis Koufolias on Monday, as well as his 24-year-old sister and another fellow
student who had been in the apartment when the quake struck. His sister and the other student were
rescued from the rubble with minor injuries. Koufolias’s mother and girlfriend reportedly shouted words
of support for hours as rescue workers struggled to reach the 28-year-old. At 4 a.m. yesterday, the
workers got to him but he was already dead.

Hundreds of Greek students based in the medieval town were flown home on an Olympic Airlines flight
from Rome yesterday and hundreds more boarded ferries to Patras from Bari.


Longer museum and site hours as of Easter
6th April 2009 ekathimerini

A year after receiving heavy criticism for its failure to ensure that museums and archaeological sites
were open early on in the summer season, the Culture Ministry has announced that extended hours
will be in place much earlier.
In a statement yesterday, Culture Minister Antonis Samaras said that he expects the process to assign
staff to major museums and sites so that they can stay open seven days a week until 8 p.m. to be
completed this week.
“This year will be the first time that the summer timetable, which we are extending by half an hour, will
be implemented so early,” said Samaras. “Until now, it was only in full effect in the middle of June, but
this year it will be implemented before Easter.”
Greece is expecting a drop in the number of visitors this year due to the economic crisis and Samaras
suggested the ministry’s initiative is aimed at attracting more tourists.


Crete stabbing
6th April 2009 ekathimerini

Police on Crete were yesterday searching for the murderer of a 47-year-old man who was found dead
at his home near Iraklion. The victim, a divorced father of two, had been stabbed more than 10 times in
the neck and chest by his attacker. His mother found the body. Officers could not say immediately what
the motive for the incident may have been.


Police shooting witness rapped
6th April 2009 ekathimerini

A 50-year-old woman from Athens’s Kypseli neighborhood, who attempted to stop two officers
belonging to a rapid response team from arresting a suspect seconds before they were both shot in
the head, was given a 12-month suspended jail sentence on Saturday.
The mother of three said that she intervened because she thought the officers were arresting a family
friend who she knew to be innocent of any wrongdoing. An accomplice of the suspect took advantage
of the situation to fire at the policemen before the pair escaped.
The judge said he was being lenient with the woman because, after realizing her mistake, she gave the
officer who was not seriously injured her mobile phone so he could call for help. The other policeman,
Spyros Theodoridis, remained at the Erythros Stavros Hospital last night in critical condition.
Police continued their search for the suspects, who they believe are likely to be members of the Russian
Mafia.


Illegal antiquities
1st April 2009 ekathimerini

Police in Corinth yesterday were questioning a Greek man after finding a large horde of antiquities,
believed to have been excavated illegally, in his home. Officers conducted the raid on the suspect’s
home on Monday, carrying away 26 artifacts including statues and amphoras dating from various
periods. The raid also uncovered a number of weapons and some explosives.



Paris hopes Greeks will be a towering success
31st March ekathimerini


More than 30 Greeks are due today to begin the massive task of giving the Eiffel Tower in Paris a new
coat of paint to mark the 120th anniversary of the French landmark.
A company from Thessaloniki, Stelma SA, has been awarded the contract to cover all 250,000 square
meters of the iron structure in a special bronze paint.
Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe has organized the start of the project to coincide with the tower
celebrating its 120th birthday. It is expected to take the experienced Stelma workmen more than a
year to complete the job, which will require some 60 tons of paint, costing 170 million euros.
“It is the first time that we are taking on such an important monument,” said the company’s vice
president, Dimitris Mamantzis. “It is a great burden of responsibility but it fills us with pride.” This will be
the Eiffel Tower’s 18th makeover.


Bid to regulate pre-trial custody
30th March 2009 ekathimerini

A Justice Ministry bill due to be tabled in Parliament aims to meet European Union standards on
detention and decongest crowded jails by reducing the number of people being detained pending trial,
Kathimerini has learned.

Defendants will be remanded in custody only for crimes carrying a jail sentence of more than 10 years.
Those facing charges of sexual procurement, embezzlement, fraud and theft will not be detained.
Crimes against minors or violations of immigration laws, which carry jail sentences of less than 10
years, will be treated as exceptions and defendants will be detained. Also those with prior convictions
for crimes committed with malice aforethought will be detained.

Of some 12,000 inmates in Greek prisons, 3,182 are awaiting trial. According to the Council of Europe,
the average period of pre-trial detention in Greece is 365 days, three times longer than in other
European Union states.



Earth Hour in Greece
29th March 2009 ERT

Lights went out all around the world for an hour on Saturday for Earth Hour, with millions of citizens all
over the globe joining forces in the campaign against climate change,

Participating in the initiative in Greece were the Transport and Communications Ministry, the Education
Ministry,  the Eleftherios Venizelos Airport and the PPC (Public Power Corporation).The Eleftherios
Venizelos Airport suspended take-offs and landings on it two runways, while from 20:30-21:30 lights
went down in buildings, parking lots of the staff and other parts of the airport.
PPC  turned off the lights in and out of its premises across Greece, excluding buildings related with the
production of electric power.
The Acropolis, the Holy Temple of Poseidon in Sounio, Hephaestus Temple at the Ancient Market,
Philopappou Monument, Ancient Olympia and Delphi  remained unlit
Attiko Metro immobilized its trains at 20:30 for one minute and open air advertizing signs remained unlit
for one hour.



Heat and African Dust
29th March 2009 ERT

Warm weather and a transfer of African dust are expected in Greece until Wednesday. Temperatures
will rise to mid to high 20’s Celsius in Crete. However, things will take a turn for the worse, with
northerly winds bringing temperatures down later in the week.



Suicide averted
27th March 2009 ekathimerini

Members of Thessaloniki's electronic crime unit said yesterday that they had managed to contact the
relatives of a 35-year-old Cretan man who had expressed his intention to commit suicide in comments
posted in an Internet chat room. The divorced father of one has been referred for psychological
treatment, officers said.



Employee shot at betting shop
27th March 2009 ekathimerini

A 34-year-old employee of a betting shop in the Athens district of Nea Smyrni was shot dead by a
would-be robber just after 9 p.m. on Wednesday night, the latest in a spate of violent attacks in the
capital.
According to a witness, the gunman fired one shot at the employee after entering the store and then
another two when the employee tried to chase him. The 35-year-old, who was hit twice in the chest,
was transferred to the hospital but died on arrival. Officers found around 1,000 euros in the cash
register and said it was likely that the gunman did not get away with any cash.
Police expressed serious concern about the incident, noting that it was the eighth murder in Attica in
just three weeks. Officers also observed that the targets of violent robberies had shifted in recent
weeks, from banks in the city center to betting shops, supermarkets and convenience stores in less
central locations. A senior officer told Kathimerini, «We have seen a drop in the number of bank
robberies alongside a spike in attacks outside the center.»


Brit arrested in Crete for child porn                                                                     
24th March 2009 ekathimerini

A 27-year-old Scottish national based in Crete and a 49-year-old confectioner from Athens were
detained yesterday on charges of trading in hardcore child pornography.
The two suspects were traced by the Greek police’s electronic crime squad following a tip-off by US and
British authorities probing international child pornography rings. Both men are alleged to have visited a
website called “Kids, the light of our lives” to exchange videos and photographs showing children and
babies being sexually assaulted. The site – created by a 30-year-old Briton convicted in 2007 – charged
users between 2,000 and 8,000 euros for access to live footage of children being raped, according to
police.
A police search of the home of the 27-year-old turned up a laptop and five computer hard drives alleged
to contain indecent photographs of children. The 49-year-old is alleged to have wiped the memory of
his computer prior to the police search.



Body found in Crete that of Missing Briton
24th March 2009  BBC

A body found on the Greek island of Crete has been officially identified as that of a missing Scottish
woman.

Jean Hanlon, 53, from Dumfries, had last been seen at the Marina Cafe in the port of Heraklion on 9
March. A body was found four days later and it has now been identified as Ms Hanlon, who moved to
Crete in 2005.

Her son, Robert Porter, said the family was devastated by the news and appealed for public help with
information about the circumstances leading to her death.



Greece returns 13th century murals to Italy
24th March 2009 Reuters

Greece has returned to Italy two murals smuggled from an Italian church more than 20 years ago, the
Culture Ministry said Tuesday.

The frescoes dating to the 13th century were seized from the church in the southern region of
Campania, in 1982. Greek police found them in 2006 on a small island in the southern Aegean during an
anti-smuggling mission.

"This is one step further in our cooperation with the Italians," Culture Minister Antonis Samaras said in
a statement. "We are together in this 'war' against the disease which bedraggles our countries."

Greece and Italy, often characterized "as open-air museums," have stepped up in recent years their
campaign to recover ancient artifacts. Last year, Italy returned to Greece two fragments of the
Parthenon marbles after years of negotiations.

Greece has long called for Britain to give back scores of the priceless ancient sculptures, also known as
Elgin marbles, which were removed from the Parthenon in 1801 by Lord Elgin and are housed in the
British Museum.


Deadly mistake
23rd March 2009 ekathimerini

A 42-year-old man was killed in the village of Fres, near Hania on Crete, on Saturday when he
attempted to use a rotary tool to cut a metal barrel in half. Police said that neighbors heard an
explosion soon after the man began work. It appears that the barrel’s lid flew off and struck him on the
head, killing him instantly. The lid was found some 100 meters away. The man was not named.


‘Killer’ remanded
20th March 2009 ekathimerini

A 26-year-old Cretan man, charged with shooting dead a 25-year-old member of a rival family in his
native village of Kissamos in Hania prefecture on Saturday, was remanded in custody yesterday. The
suspect allegedly claimed that the victim had opened fire first, prompting him to respond with the fatal
shot. Police said the two families have a history of antagonism, noting that a vendetta in the early
1990s resulted in deaths on both sides.


Crete quake
20th March 2009 ekathimerini

An undersea quake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale shook the island of Crete shortly after
4 p.m. yesterday but no serious damage or injuries were reported. Seismologists said the epicenter of
the quake was located off the island’s South coast.


OA staff protesting sell-off to force cancellations
20th March 2009 ekathimerini

Passengers planning to travel on domestic or international flights today will face disruptions as Olympic
Airlines staff stage a 24-hour strike, protesting at the privatization of the ailing national carrier. At least
96 domestic flights are expected to be canceled and many others delayed. Passengers should
telephone OA on 210.966.6666 for details about rescheduled flights.

Protesters have threatened to stage a series of four rolling 24-hour strikes after Easter, which falls on
April 19, unless the Transport Ministry satisfies their salary and pension demands.


Bank torched in Hania suburb                                                                           
18th March 2009

Unidentified arsonists destroyed a branch of National Bank in Kounoupidiana, Hania, Crete, early
yesterday after smashing the facade of the building. The arsonists poured petrol around the inside of
the bank then set fire to it.  Firemen managed to extinguish the blaze before it reached neighbouring
shops, but the bank was gutted. The perpetrators are believed to be the same as those who torched a
Postal Savings Bank branch in central Hania in January.



Latest round in culture dispute
18th March ekathimerini

The short truce between the Culture Ministry and its contract workers is set to be broken today as the
employees begin three days of planned demonstrations in front of the National Archaeological Museum.
The workers, who are demanding they be given permanent jobs, are planning to protest at the
Acropolis tomorrow and are considering blocking its entrance for a sixth time in three weeks. On Friday,
they intend to block the way into the Culture Ministry.
Last week, the contract employees scaled back their protest after President Karolos Papoulias chided
them for blocking the Acropolis and preventing hundreds of tourists from visiting the Parthenon. The
Culture Ministry has since tabled an amendment that attempts to settle the dispute by offering the
workers another year, or possibly two, of employment. Culture Minister Antonis Samaras said that a
“small minority” continued to overlook this legislation.



Cretan Farmers to Return to Athens
17th March 2009 GRreporter

The Cretan farmers are returning to Athens. The Farmer Federation had a meeting in Crete, in which
they decided to board ferries on Sunday and Monday to arrive in Athens on March 23rd.
The farmers are unsatisfied with the fact that the Minister of Agricultural Development Sotiris Hadzigakis
has not set up an exact date when he will visit Crete, in order to be informed of the problems of the
farmers there.
This time the farmers won’t be with their tractors and will protest in front of the Prime Minister’s
chambers.


One dead, many hurt in Cretan family feud
16th March 2009 ekathimerini
Police on Crete yesterday detained eight members of two rival families after a heated dispute led to the
fatal shooting of a 25-year-old man and the injury of several other people.
The trouble started on Saturday afternoon when the 25-year-old and a relative were burning branches
in a field near Kissamos in the Hania prefecture. Members of the other family objected to the fire,
prompting an argument, which culminated in the 25-year-old being shot dead. According to police, a
brawl ensued, resulting in one woman receiving serious head injuries and others suffering minor
injuries. Later the same day at the hospital, tensions escalated into another brawl, resulting in more
injuries as knives were drawn.
Police said the two families have a history of antagonism, noting that a vendetta in the early 1990s
resulted in deaths on both sides. More



MIG Takes over OA Ground Services
14th March 2009 ERT

After Olympic Airways flight and technical operations services, MIG has also taken over Olympic Airways
ground services for the sum of € 44.8 million following failure of agreement with Swissport .

Transport Minister, Sotiris Hatzidakis said that Swissport and MIG failed to reach a trade agreement
within the set deadline which expired on Friday. Subsequently, state advisors are to start talks shortly
with MIG for the finalization of Olympics ground services sale agreement.
MIG had agreed to take over ground services for the sum of € 44.8 million in the event negotiations
with Swissport failed. Taking over ground services provides MIG with the right to use OA cargo facilities
and all rights to offer ground services to third parties in all major airports in the country, among them
Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklio, Corfu and Rhodes.



Asian tiger mosquitoes arrive in the capital
14th March 2009 ekathimerini
An aggressive breed of mosquito, which can carry potentially deadly viruses, has been spotted in the
capital, according to scientists who have pressed the government to take action to curb the spread of
the insect.
The Asian tiger mosquito – a native of Asia, Africa and South America that has yellow stripes on a black
body – can carry West Nile virus and dengue fever, which can both provoke fatal illnesses. A team of
experts from Athens’s Benakio Institute of Phytopathology and the Agricultural University of Athens
have called for a “comprehensive approach to solving the mosquito problem in our country to avert
serious public health issues.”
Though the Asian tiger mosquito was spotted in Thesprotia and Corfu in 2004, no action has been
taken to eradicate it. It is thought the mosquitoes reached Greece via ferries arriving at the busy port
of Igoumenitsa.



Youths run amok in central Athens
14th March 2009 ekathimerini

Dozens of hooded youths wielding crowbars and sledgehammers went on the rampage in central
Athens and Thessaloniki in broad daylight yesterday, destroying banks, storefronts and cars but
causing no injuries.
The worst riots were in Athens, where around 150 self-styled anarchists converged in the upmarket
district of Kolonaki at around noon before running amok, causing widespread damage and startling
shoppers. After the riots, the youths scattered leaflets calling for the release from prison of Giorgos
Voutsis-Vogiatzis, the son of a prominent left-wing MP jailed after a 2007 robbery in Athens.
Sources told Kathimerini that the rioters had used the premises of the Athens Law School, whose
entrance is on Sina Street near Kolonaki, to prepare for their spree of vandalism. According to the
sources, the venue had been used for the same purpose by those who attacked leading criminologist
Yiannis Panousis with iron bars last month while he was giving a lecture.
Witnesses to the spree in Kolonaki yesterday said the attackers were brazen. “They went berserk,
they were jumping onto the roofs of cars and smashing them up,” the owner of a vandalized vehicle
told Kathimerini.
Earlier in the day, about 40 youths wreaked widespread damage in the center of Thessaloniki, trashing
the facades of two banks and several shops with iron bars and wooden sticks. Again there were no
injuries reported.
Police dispatched to restore order in both cities were too late to make any arrests. Police spokesman
Panayiotis Stathis said that the force was dealing with more than mere vandals. “Setting fire to a car is
one thing but here we are dealing with something more worrying – preplanned operations by
organized groups,” he said.



Greek luck may be out over slot machine law
13th March 2009 ekathimerini
Greece could face yet another hefty fine from the European Court of Justice, this time for its law
banning slot machines, it emerged yesterday.
The chief prosecutor of the Strasbourg-based court reportedly proposed that Greece be handed a 2-
million-euro fine and an additional 32,000-euro daily penalty for legislation that forbids the operation of
all kinds of slot machines.
The law against electronic gambling, drafted in 2002 when the previous PASOK government was in
power, was originally aimed at the thousands of fruit machines that had sprung up in arcades across
the country but was extended to cover all games in public areas, electronic or not, apart from those in
licensed casinos. The law, which violates certain basic principles of EU legislation, including the free
movement of goods and services, led to Greece being convicted by the European Court in October 2006.



Public servants face trial
11th March 2009 ekathimerini                                                                       
More than 350 employees at tax and town-planning offices as well as other public sector employees
could face trial, it was revealed yesterday, after a state inspector discovered evidence suggesting that
they have failed to adequately explain their incomes.

The country’s general inspector of public administration, Leandros Rakintzis, has referred 354 tax and
town-planning office workers to a prosecutor after finding that they had failed to submit declarations of
source of wealth – “pothen esches” in Greek – along with their tax papers.

He has also asked judges to give him the right to examine the bank accounts of another 30 civil
servants after discovering that the size of their incomes could not justify their wealth or the property
that they owned.

According to Rakintzis, these bureaucrats have committed serious disciplinary as well as criminal
offenses, including embezzlement.

Rakintzis is also thought to be investigating some 200 more tax and town-planning office employees on
suspicion of committing serious offenses. The inspector said that anyone found not to have submitted a
pothen esches form would be charged with breach of duty as well as breaking the law. They could also
face immediate suspension.


Rakintzis has in the past identified town-planning offices as being a major source of corruption in the
public system. A survey carried out last month by Public Issue on behalf of corruption watchdog
Transparency International found that Greeks paid 750 million euros a year in bribes. Of this, some 60
percent were paid to state hospitals, tax departments and town-planning offices.



New private airline Athens Airways fly to Crete
10th March 2009

Athens Airways is a new private airline based in Athens, Koropi. The airline's CEO and owner is Greek
buisnesssman Mr Sakis Andrianopoulos .

The airline’s initial fleet will be made up of 4 50-seat Embraer ERJ-145 aircraft. The first flight was
launched in January from Athens to Northern Greece, and from March 26th the airline will fly to
Heraklion and Chania in Crete. Flights will be twice daily between Athens and Chania from 26th March,
and three times daily between Athens and Heraklion from 2nd April 2009.

Lead fares start at just 1 euro plus taxes, one way.  www.athensairways.com


Emergency landing
10th March 2009 ekathimerini

An easyJet flight from Thessaloniki to London had to make an emergency landing at Macedonia Airport
just before 1 p.m. after striking a flock of birds on takeoff. The impact caused engine problems and the
captain of flight 5093 decided to return immediately to the airport. None of the 139 passengers or the
six crew members on board was injured.



Bomb in a Hairdressing salon  in Georgioupoli
Haniotika Nea 9th March 2009

A bomb attack in the early hours of Saturday morning at a hairdressing salon attached to a family run
hotel in Kavros, Georgioupoli has shocked local residents. The salon was completely destroyed and
windows of neighbouring building were blown out in the explosion. Fortunately there were no
casualties. Damage is estimated to be in the region of 100.000 euros.



OLYMPIC TAKEOFF - Government confirms deal to sell troubled airline to MIG
9th March 2009 ekathimerini

The government confirmed early on Saturday that a deal has been struck to sell Olympic Airlines to the
investment-holding company Marfin Investment Group (MIG) for a total of 177.2 million euros.
Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis announced that last-minute bids from Aegean Airlines and US-
based Chrysler Aviation had been turned down. He added that the deal still has to be approved by the
European Union. MIG has offered 45.7 million for Olympic’s flight operations and 16.7 million for its
technical base. Hatzidakis said negotiations with MIG and Swissport for the sale of Olympic’s ground-
handling services for 44.8 million euros would take another week.


Arson Attacks in Athens
8th March 2009  ert.gr / NET

Three arson attacks took place in Athens yesterday night. The most serious incident occurred in
"Sprider Store" which was extensively damaged in Ilioupoli-Ethnikis Adistaseos conjunction, Dafni.
According to first evidence released by the fire brigade and the police department, unidentified people
most probably broke the windows used flammable liquid in the ground floor and then put on fire that
was very soon spread. At the same time fire also broke out in OAED offices in Kalithea, in Dimosthenous
and Matzagriotakis conjunction. The fire was put out immediately by the Fire Brigade. Later on,
unidentified people also burnt the offices of the Working Inspection in Agioi Anargyroi. Fortunately,
firemen distinguished the fire on time.



Car explosion in Athens seriously injures man
6th March 2008 Aljazeera

A car has exploded outside a school in an Athens suburb, seriously injuring a 62-year-old businessman.

The police suspect that Friday morning's attack was the result of a business dispute.

The explosion occurred after the victim entered his car in the seaside town of Voula, south of Athens,
the Greek capital.

The man, whose name has not been released, was taken to a nearby hospital.

Authorities say the man runs a car sales business and that they are investigating the possibility of
personal rivalry as a motive for the attacks.

Greek local media reported that the victim had been targeted in the past, with his car allegedly booby-
trapped in 2004.

Attacks over business differences, including bombings and assassination attempts, are not unusual in
Greece.

In other news of violence, Greek riot police clashed with stone-throwing protesters on Thursday during
a march against a grenade attack on the offices of a leftist rights group.

Officers fired tear gas at a group of youths who broke out of the demonstrators and threw stones and
a petrol bomb at police. No injuries or arrests were reported.


Calls for employees’ closures of Acropolis to end
6th March 2009 ekathimerini

As protesting Culture Ministry workers blocked access to the Acropolis again yesterday, Minister Antonis
Samaras said they were “condemning” the capital’s landmark monument and warned that their protest
action was unfair and would work against them. The workers are pressing the government to renew
their expired short-term contracts and provide them with some four months in unpaid wages. The
protesters, who also prevented tourists from accessing the capital’s landmark monument for three days
last week, have threatened to repeat their action next Wednesday. Several hundred ministry
employees whose contracts were not renewed have taken legal action.


Two New Suitors for Olympic Airlines
4th March 2009 ert.gr

Two more bids to buy ailing Greek state Olympic Airlines were submitted Wednesday by Greek private
carrier AEGEAN AIRLINES and US charter company Chrysler Aviation. The Greek administration, on the
other hand, appears determined to respect the exclusive nature of negotiations taking place with
suitors MIG and Swissport until the end of the week. In fact, the state legal and financial advisors have
been mandated to go through evidence on the capital sufficiency of the new bids submitted. Greek
private air carrier AEGEAN AIRLINES submitted on Wednesday a bid to acquire ailing state carrier
Olympic Airlines
Responding to a tender to privatize the loss-making Greek national air carrier, AEGEAN said in a
statement it offered €90mn to purchase Olympic's flying operation and €20mn to buy the assets of the
Olympic's aircraft maintenance base. It also intends to acquire Pantheon, a company set up by the
government as a successor of debt free Olympic Airlines, offering about €60mn. AEGEAN and its
shareholders, read the statement, aimed at creating a stronger Greek carrier with the necessary mass
base to live up to international competition in the European airspace.

AEGEAN also pledged to undertake the project within two months after the signing of the final deal with
the Greek state, thus saving operational costs of hundreds of million of euros that would burden the
Greek state, in case another bidder acquired OA later on.
In the meantime, US charter company Chrysler Aviation offered €210mn to buy Olympic Airlines. The
company also said it intended to offer to purchase the rest assets of OA.



Crete: Goat-house Turned into “Arsenal”
4th March ERT

A 48-year old shepherd in Hania was arrested after police search in his goat-house. He had turned the
goat-house into an ammunition arsenal. Among findings were 886 cartridges, 9 flare bombs, a sound
grenade, a tear gas grenade.






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