|Copyright © 2004-2017 All rights reserved. Carol Palioudaki Living in Crete www.livingincrete.net
|Living in Crete
Crete & Greece
September to December 2006
|New Deadline for Road Taxes
29 Dec 2006
The Ministry of Economy and Finance gave car owners until January 10 to pay for the 2007 road taxes. The Ministry
had to step up this measure to facilitate people who have been queuing over the last days at the Revenues Offices to
pay for their road taxes
29th December 2006
Seventeen murders and 13 attempted homicides took place on Crete in 2006, 28 of which were solved, Vassilis
Lourakis, the chief of police in Crete, said yesterday.
Greeks stranded in Vienna after agency fails to pay airline for return
28th December 2006 www.ekathimerini.com
More than 200 Greek tourists who spent their Christmas break in Vienna were stranded after the travel agency that
sold them their holiday package failed to pay for the return flights. After the intervention of the Greek Embassy in
Vienna, two Olympic Airlines planes were chartered to bring back the 212 travelers yesterday. The tourists had been
scheduled to return to Athens on Tuesday. Authorities have launched an investigation into the Sun Mediterranean
travel agency that sold the holiday package and said that it has probably been operating without a license. The
owner of the travel agency could not be found, authorities added
Air rescue for stranded men
28th December 2006 www.ekathimerini.com
Eight sailors who had been stranded on an isolated point on the island of Gavdos, south of Crete, were airlifted to
safety late yesterday in windy conditions, the Merchant Marine Ministry said.
The eight men were all crew members of the Albanian-flagged “Cyprus” vessel that had run aground off the shore of
Gavdos late on Tuesday.
The men, Albanian nationals, then swam to safety but were stranded as a Puma helicopter could not pick them at first
due to winds at speeds of up to 9 Beaufort in the area.
Ministry sources said that the rescue workers dropped supplies to the sailors as the airlift attempt continued.
Meanwhile, six illegal immigrants who had called for help from a mobile phone as they tried to row to the eastern
Aegean island of Lesvos were found safe on the island
Farmer, 90, arrested after shooting suspected robber in Cretan home
27th December 2006 www.ekathimerini.com
A 90-year-old farmer was arrested in the village of Kalamitsi, near Hania in Crete, yesterday after shooting a 25-year-
old man who allegedly broke into his home to rob him, police said. The younger man, a Moldovan national, had
worked for the farmer for the past two years. He was hospitalized after sustaining serious injuries from being shot in
the stomach. Police said the younger man broke into the farmer’s home while the elderly man was asleep. The farmer
will remain in custody while authorities investigate the shooting.
Greek police detain British woman for allegedly stealing baby
Associated Press 16 December 2006
ATHENS, Greece: Greek police have detained a British woman for allegedly stealing a baby from a 16-year-old
Romanian girl in Athens as she attempted to buy it from the teenager, authorities said Saturday.
The woman — not identified because of Greek privacy laws — was detained on the western island of Kefalonia Friday
after returning the infant to a local clinic, saying she was unable to take care of it because of psychological problems,
police said in a statement.
The Romanian teenager told police her baby had been stolen from her in central Athens on Tuesday while negotiating
to sell it for €14,000 (US$18,000), the statement said. The buyer allegedly snatched the baby without paying.
The infant was not harmed. It was not immediately clear if the Romanian teen would face charges because she is a
The British woman is expected to appear before a public prosecutor in Athens Sunday on charges of stealing an
infant, police said.
Inmate dead in Hania
16th December 2006 ekathimerini.com
A 35-year-old male inmate from Syria was found dead in his cell in Hania, Crete, yesterday, police said. An autopsy is
expected to be conducted on the body today but police ruled out any foul play, saying that the inmate had been
linked to drug-related incidents without giving any further details.
Memories of tragic loss in Hania
8th December 2006
The 8th December marks 40 years since the tragic sinking of the ferry “Iraklio” and the loss of 240 lives. The ferry was
travelling from Hania to Piraeus on 8th December 1966 when it sank in gale force winds mid-journey. There were just
46 survivors. The ‘Hand Monument’ just west of the Naval Museum in Hania Harbour is a memorial to those who
Three years later, to the day, on the 8th December 1969 there was a second tragedy for Haniots, when an Olympic
Airways flight traveling from Hania to Athens crashed in Kerateas, Attiki with the loss of all 85 passengers and 5 crew
Cell phones banned in schools
8th December 2006
The Education Ministry banned yesterday the use of mobile phones by primary and secondary school students after a
number of reported cases of students using the devices to film sexually explicit and violent behavior.
The footage, aired by commercial television stations in recent months, has raised concerns about student behavior
and the need for mobile phones at schools.
The ministry yesterday started mailing circulars to teachers informing them that cell phones are no longer permitted.
“Students are not allowed to have mobile phones in their possession while on school grounds. In the event that the
child is found with a cell phone, he will be required to switch it off and keep it in his bag,” the circular said.
Primary school students who are caught with cell phones in class or on school grounds will be warned not to bring the
phone to school again and their parents will also be informed about the matter. But secondary school pupils could
face expulsion for repeatedly violating the “no cell phone” rule.
In the past few weeks, teachers and psychologists have been arguing that the videotaping of unruly behavior
encourages further disorder, with some pupils competing to create increasingly shocking footage.
The move comes a month after an alleged rape case at a school in Amarynthos on the island of Evia, northeast of
Athens, that was reportedly recorded by pupils using a cell phone video camera.
For the ban to work, teachers must lead by example, the Education Ministry said.
“During teaching hours, educators should switch off their phones. An oversight of this amounts to a punishable act,”
the ministry said.
According to a recent study prepared by the Athens University of Economics and Business, 74 percent of children
between the ages of 12 to 14 own a mobile phone, while nearly 100 percent of youths aged between 15 to 18 had a
Independent Airline starts direct flights from Hania to Rhodes, Mykonos and Santorini
6th December 2006 Haniotika Nea
Flights will start on the 17th December from Hania to Rhodes with the independent airline, Sky Express and will run
twice a week.
Sky Express was formed 18 months ago in Heraklion and they own two 18 seater planes, as well as a 747, which will
be used on an international route next summer.
The Hania to Rhodes flight takes 55 minutes and tickets cost 86 euros each way.
From the end of May 2007 to 15th September 2007 Sky Express will also run direct flights from Hania to Mykonos and
Farmer charged with murder
1st December 2006 ekathimerini.com
A prosecutor in the city of Agrinion, central Greece, has now charged 37-year-old livestock farmer Dionysis Foukas
with the murder of five hunters and accused his 73-year-old father Lysimachos of being an accessory to the killings.
The two men were taken to the prosecutor yesterday amid tight security as police fear possible reprisals from the
families of the five men who were shot dead in a field in the area of Kalyvia, west of Agrinion, on Saturday.
Based on the statements given to the police by the two men, during which each man said he was responsible for
shooting the hunters, the prosecutor decided that the 73-year-old had not been actively involved in the alleged
murders but was taking the blame to protect his son.
The two suspects were given until today to testify and have been remanded in custody at police headquarters in
The coroner from Patras, Angeliki Tziola, who examined the bodies of the five hunters, was called in yesterday to look
at a wound on the chest of Dionysis Foukas. The farmer told police that one of the hunters shot at him after Foukas
had already shot three of his victims.
Foukas said the shotgun pellet grazed the right side of his chest. Tziola was asked to confirm that the injury was
consistent with the younger Foukas’s claims.
The main suspect confessed to police that he shot the five men after they argued with his father, who was upset that
the hunters were trespassing on his land and scaring his sheep.
Police sources told Kathimerini yesterday that officers agreed with the prosecutor that there was no need to
reconstruct the incident. Sources said that the police feared that such a move would generate unwelcome media
interest and may cause unnecessary grief to the local community.
Officers said that they would continue to discreetly monitor the family of the two suspects but there has not been any
indication that the victims’ relatives were intent on exacting revenge for the alleged crime.
Suspects out on bail after tests show guns were not used in Cretan raid
30th November 2006 ekathimerini.com
Seven of the eight suspects arrested in connection to an audacious bank robbery in Crete on September 4 using a
bulldozer were granted bail yesterday. The seven were arrested on suspicion of being part of a gang that allegedly
stole some 200,000 euros using a bulldozer to smash through the front of a bank. Giorgos Perakis, a lawyer
representing one of the suspects, said that they were released after ballistic tests confirmed that the guns owned by
the seven were not used during the robbery. The eighth suspect arrested for the robbery has allegedly confessed to
taking part in the heist.
Bike mugger shoots victim
30th November 2006 ekathimerini.com
A 27-year-old woman was yesterday hospitalized after being shot by a motorcycle-borne thief who snatched her bag
in northern Athens.
The woman had just left a bank Nea Philadelphia shortly after 11 a.m. when two men on a motorcycle pulled up
beside her and grabbed her bag, which contained 2,000 euros. When the woman refused to let go and started
screaming, the passenger pulled out a gun and shot at her three times.
One bullet grazed the woman’s shoulder, while the other two pierced the material of her coat. The woman also
sustained a light cranial fracture, believed to have been caused by the butt of the gun.
Police, who expressed their surprise at the violent reaction of the thief, said the duo had probably been observing
bank customers and realized the 27-year-old was carrying a large sum of money
Police Find Bodies of Five Hunters
November 26th 2006 . phantis.gr
Police have launched a murder investigation after discovering the bodies of five hunters in a rural area of central
All the men, aged between 17 and 33, had shotgun wounds, police said.
The bodies were found late on Saturday in the region of Kalyvia, close to the central Greek city of Agrinio, about 175
miles north-west of Athens.
Police said one of the victims made a desperate call from his mobile phone to his father but could only utter the word
"father" before the connection was cut off.
The father discovered the bodies after searching the area, and notified the police.
The victims, who were all related, were identified as Christos and Vassilis Nikolopoulos, Lambros Antressas, Ilias
Pipas and Alexis Nikolopoulos,
The deaths caused shock in a country with one of the lowest murder rates in Europe.
"This was an unprecedented criminal act, I've never experienced anything like this," said the regional governor of
southern Greece, Vasilis Tsiatouras.
Violence against children rises
Ekathimerini.com 25th November 2006
The number of reported cases of physically abused children rose significantly in 2006 as data released on family
violence yesterday also show that most abused women are highly educated.
Research prepared by children rights watchdog the Child’s Smile shows that there were 446 cases of reported child
abuse between January to October, up 52 percent on the whole of last year.
Only 25 percent of adults who witness child abuse will report the incident, while 72 percent of victims are below the
age of 12, the watchdog added.
People are reluctant to report the incidents to the relevant state bodies because they cannot do so anonymously,
according to Chrysoula Mavrakis, a psychologist for the Child’s Smile.
Data show that most of the children were abused by members of their immediate family.
About 60 percent of reported cases involved parents neglecting their children while 30 percent of incidents related to
cases of physical beatings.
The watchdog also called for the creation of networks in local communities that can help take care of abused children.
Meanwhile, data released yesterday by the Interior Ministry’s General Secretariat for Gender Equality show that only
16 percent of physically abused women who sought help were foreign nationals.
Figures gathered between 2002 and October 2005 show that seven in 10 women beaten were secondary school or
“The myth that abused women normally have a low level of education is not confirmed,” the Interior Ministry report
said, marking the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Drug threat keeps growing
24th November 2006 ekathimerini.com
Greece is one of the European countries where drug use is on the rise and the number of drug-related deaths in the
country has reached alarming levels, according to a report by the European Union drug agency which was made
The number of deaths in Greece in 2003-2004 from drug use reached 80 people per 1 million inhabitants, which is
double the EU average and seventh highest in the 25-nation bloc.
The report by the European Monitoring Center for Drug Addiction found that increased demand and falling prices are
fueling drug use in the EU. Cannabis remains the most widely used drug, with some 20 percent of Europeans saying
they have tried it at least once.
The use of amphetamines is also on the rise, the survey found. Ecstasy is the second most popular drug in Europe,
despite the large difference in its price across the EU. An ecstasy pill in Greece costs 15-25 euros compared to just 3
euros in Poland, according to the report
22 November 2006
A 45-year-old farmer, identified as Ilias Papasifakis, was found dead on his stock farm close to Hania, Crete, with
three gunshot wounds, police said yesterday. Numerous officers are involved in the investigation, authorities added.
Police said that it is the seventh murder recorded in the prefecture so far this year.
21 November 2006
A 36-year-old foreign national was remanded in custody in Hania, Crete, yesterday, suspected of two counts of
attempted rape, police said. A number of women were attacked in the Agios Apostolis area of Hania throughout the
summer during the evening hours. The suspect has been identified by two of his alleged victims, who told police they
were abused by the man, who apparently threatened them with a screwdriver. However the suspect maintains that
he is innocent. Police did not identify the foreign national, who testified before a magistrate yesterday.
21 November 2006 ekathimerini.com
Four motorcycles and a car were destroyed in a fire in front of a driving school in Iraklion, Crete, early yesterday.
Police said that the fire broke out after arsonists set fire to one of the motorcycles. It was not immediately clear what
provoked the attack.
Police ‘beating’ under scrutiny
21st November 2006 Ekathimerini
A prosecutor in Thessaloniki has ordered an urgent investigation into whether undercover police officers beat a 24-
year-old student after a march in the city on Friday night to mark the 33rd anniversary of a bloody student uprising
against the military dictatorship.
Video footage of the apparent beating of Avgoustinos Dimitriou was aired on national TV channels over the weekend
and first instance prosecutor Vassilis Floridis wants a probe into the matter to be concluded by Friday.
Five lecturers at Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University, who claim to have witnessed the alleged assault by a group of
officers, also filed a complaint with the prosecutor’s office yesterday.
Thessaloniki police have launched an internal investigation but said in a statement that the student was trying to
dodge officers who tried to check his identity as he left the university.
The police said that the 24-year-old Cypriot national sustained his injuries when he tripped and fell against a scooter
and a large flower pot. But footage appears to show that officers hit and kicked the student when he was on the
Dimitriou was arrested and then taken to the hospital so his injuries could be treated.
The student involved in the incident was one of eight people arrested on Friday night after students threw rocks at
riot police outside the university grounds. The suspects have been charged with disturbing the peace, causing
damage, attempted grievous bodily harm, possession of illegal weapons and resisting authority. They will be tried on
Former Getty curator charged with Greek art theft
By Karolos Grohmann -ATHENS (Reuters)
A Greek prosecutor on Tuesday charged a former curator of the American J. Paul Getty Museum with knowingly buying
an ancient artifact which had been illegally dug up and smuggled out of Greece 13 years ago.
The accusation that former antiquities curator Marion True illegally obtained a 4th-century BC golden wreath is the
latest controversy surrounding acquisitions she made for the wealthy Los Angeles-based museum.
True resigned from her post in a whirlwind of publicity last year when Italian authorities charged her with conspiring
to receive stolen antiquities.
In the Greek investigation, police raided her Aegean island villa earlier this year and retrieved what authorities say
are dozens of unregistered ancient objects.
"True as well as two Greeks and two other foreigners have been charged with removing, accepting and distributing
products resulting from criminal actions," a police source told Reuters.
"They are charged in connection with the golden wreath which was sold to a Getty representative in 1993 for $1.15
The source said police believe an ancient Macedonian tomb was excavated some time between 1990-2 and it was
then that the wreath was found and illegally removed.
Greece has disputed at least three other items in the Getty collection, two of which were returned in August as part
of an agreement. In return, the Getty, among the world's richest art institutions, will receive other Greek antiquities
on long-term loan and will be invited to co-host exhibitions of ancient Greek art.
Greece has pledged to crack down on the illegal trading of ancient artifacts. To ease museums' concerns, it has said it
will only seek the return of objects proven to have been obtained through criminal actions.
Anti-American sentiment up sharply in Greece-survey
Thu 16 Nov 2006 Reuters
-Anti-American sentiment, rooted in Greece since Washington backed a military dictatorship there almost 40 years
ago, has risen sharply in the past two years, an international survey showed on Thursday.
The survey conducted by TNS ICAP jointly with the Gallup International Association in 63 countries from five continents
showed Greece, a NATO and European Union member, was the most anti-American nation polled.
According to the survey, almost 9 out of 10 Greeks consider the United States a negative force in maintaining world
peace, a rise of more than 7 percentage points from 2004. Also 76 percent, up by 8 percentage points, believe it is
not a positive contributor to the war against terrorism.
"The majority of Greeks believe that the role of the United States is negative in all issues polled," TNS ICAP said in a
The study showed 80 percent of Greeks believe the United States is doing little to battle global poverty while 78
percent think Washington is a negative force in protecting the environment.
Greece has rarely seen eye to eye with Washington over major foreign policy issues in recent years.
It has refused to send troops to Iraq and has only contributed a small number of non-fighting troops to the NATO-led
force in Afghanistan.
Greeks have viewed Washington with suspicion ever since it supported a military junta that seized power in 1967
before collapsing seven years later.
The survey was conducted in 63 countries between the months of July and September. In Greece, some 1,000 people
from across the country were polled in telephone interviews, TNS ICAP said.
Soccer fans fight
13th November 2006
A police officer was hurt and a patrol car damaged on Saturday when rival fans from Olympiakos and Panathinaikos
soccer teams clashed in Piraeus, authorities said.
A group of more than 80 Panathinaikos fans had arrived in the port to catch a ferry to Crete where their team played
Ergotelis yesterday. Police were escorting the fans to the port area in a bid to avoid them clashing with local
However, trouble broke out when a group of about 50 Olympiakos supporters approached the rival group and
attacked them - and nearby law enforcement officers - by throwing a variety of projectiles, including Molotov cocktails.
Police broke up the Olympiakos supporters and detained 62 Panathinaikos fans after finding in their possession
weapons and small quantities of cannabis. It was not clear whether any arrests were made.
Soccer violence has been prominent in recent weeks. On Friday, police identified nine suspected hooligans after AEK
Athens provided video footage of fan violence as part of a crackdown on violence in local soccer.
Government hopes sale of OTE will be completed within six months’ time
10th November 2006
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Greece will pick three advisers for its plan to divest its 38 percent current holding in OTE
telecom, part of the government’s privatization plan next year, Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis said.
The sale of OTE’s stake is part of Greece’s ambitious privatization agenda, aimed at paying down debt, one of the
biggest in the eurozone as a percentage of GDP.
“We have had a lot of interest from all the major international banks and all the major Greek banks as well and we
will select two advisers with considerable telecoms experience from international banks and one Greek bank, so there
will be a group of three,”
Alogoskoufis said he would like OTE’s privatization process to be finished by June 2007.
Forensic evidence from bulldozer raid ‘does not incriminate’ 8 suspects
8th November 2006
Evidence gathered from the scene of a daring bank heist in the Cretan prefecture of Hania in September does not
incriminate eight people who have already been charged in connection with the raid, sources have told Kathimerini.
Fingerprints lifted from the scene of the robbery in the village of Kalives, where a bulldozer was used to smash down
the entrance to a bank, do not match any of those of the eight suspects, the sources said. Also an analysis of the
mobile phone calls made by the eight individuals after the time of the robbery does not indicate any collaboration.
Police threat to strike over refusal to pay bonus
Officers will only do basic tasks
8th November 2006
The pressure on the government from striking primary school teachers may have eased temporarily but the ruling
conservatives could soon be facing the wrath of police officers over bonus payments.
Police officers said yesterday that if talks on Friday between Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis and
Public Order Minister Vyron Polydoras fail to lead to an agreement on extra monthly allowances for law enforcers, they
will begin industrial action.
The law prohibits police officers from going on strike but the head of the Panhellenic Confederation of Police
Employees (POASY), Dimitris Kyriazidis, said that officers would refuse to take on any tasks beyond their basic duties.
«We are determined to block sideline tasks - jobs which have been dumped on the police but are not exclusively the
duty of the force,» said POASY's general secretary, Antonis Botaitis.
These tasks may include the authentication of signatures and issuing of new identity cards and passports.
«Policing will not stop and we will still respond to calls from citizens and emergency situations,» added Botaitis.
Officers are also considering using their patrol cars to advertise their cause, possibly by displaying banners, sources
The policemen want the ruling conservatives to live up to pre-election pledges to increase bonus payments to the
police. The officers want the government to grant members of the police force a monthly bonus payment of 8 percent
of their basic salary.
Alogoskoufis has so far appeared reluctant to agree to the bonus, arguing that Greece's public finances cannot afford
the extra burden - the same reasoning that the government has used to support its refusal to increase teachers'
Polydoras has threatened to resign if the bonuses are not paid. Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos
yesterday played down the rift. «All ministers approach problems which are their responsibility with the same vigor,»
Largest Greek tourism project will be in Crete - Cavo Sidero
7th November 2006
By Giorgos Lialios - Kathimerini
The government said yesterday it had approved the environmental effects study for the biggest ever tourism
development project in the country.
The 1.2-billion-euro project concerns the construction, on a concession basis, of six tourist villages on 2,500 hectares
belonging to the Toplou monastery on the Cavo Sidero peninsula of northeastern Crete.
The development, which will create about 3,000 jobs in the area, is being implemented by the Minoan Group (formerly
Loyalward Group) and will basically comprise five hotel complexes, totaling a capacity of 7,000 beds. It will also
include three golf courses, a sports center with soccer, basketball and volleyball facilities, and a conference center
capable of hosting 1,200 participants.
Minoan’s chief financial officer, Aristos Vassiliadis, told Kathimerini the investment will be implemented in two phases;
the approval of the environmental effects study will be followed by approval of the architectural design by the Greek
National Tourism Organization and the issuing of the building license. The first of five hotels will open for business 18
months after the commencement of construction work.
According to the concession agreement, which has a duration of 40 years and may be extended for 40 more, the
Toplou monastery will receive 10 percent of annual revenue. The concessionaire will construct all necessary
infrastructure for the protection of the local environment, such as waste treatment, desalination and recycling plants.
The initial plan, submitted in 1994, met with strong reactions by local interest groups which especially feared the
effects of the high water requirements of golf courses on the local environment.
Besides the monastery, the attractions of the locality include the Minoan ruins at Itanos and the famous Vai beach,
the site of Europe’s only indigenous palm forest. The site will be a 30-minute drive from the nearest airport, at Siteia.
Experts still perceive Greece to have serious problems with graft
Greece is more corrupt than countries like Tunisia, Mauritius and Latvia, according to the annual Corruption
Perceptions Index released yesterday by anti-graft watchdog Transparency International. TI found that Greece was
the 54th least corrupt country out of 163 states surveyed. Finland, Iceland and New Zealand are the least corrupt.
Last year, Greece was the 47th least corrupt out 159 countries. The index score relates to the degree of corruption
perceived by business people and analysts who mark countries between 0 (highly corrupt) and 10 (very clean).
Greece was given 4.4 this year.
2nd November 2006
A 41-year-old farmer accused of murdering his cousin, aged 44, in Hania, Crete, was remanded in custody yesterday,
police said. The suspect, Nektarios Vestakis, told police that he was acting in self-defense and that the victim, Yiannis
Vestakis, had threatened to harm him and his livestock. The suspect’s attorney presented to authorities the names of
40 people that he claims were attacked by the victim.
Storm Rescuers find body of missing Briton
20th October 2006
The body of David Westwell was found in the harbour of Almirida, near Hania in Crete, yesterday afternoon. David
Westwell was a permanent resident on Crete and had been missing since Wednesday morning. His empty vehicle
was found later that day.
Authorities said that Westwell tried to cross a stream which had swelled because of the rainfall, and was swept
away. His body was found some three kilometers away.
Two British holiday makers died on Wednesday after being swept away by high waves on a beach on the holiday
island of Rhodes. They were identified as Keiron Conlon, 47, and his wife Frances, 46, of London. They drowned
after attempting to swim in the sea despite 2-meter-high waves that had been whipped up by gale-force winds.
Further Storms Wreak Havoc
18th October 2006
Storms across Crete yesterday caused extensive damage and heavy flooding across the island. The Hania area was
hit particularly hard, and as road turned into rivers there were closures across the prefecture. Part of the National
Road between Hania and Rethymnon was also closed for several hours. Dozens of homes and hotels were flooded
and the fire department received hundreds of calls to pump out flood waters. Heraklion airport closed for a short
time, while Hania airport was closed throughout most of the day due to the gale-force winds and heavy rain. Charter
flights from the UK were diverted to Athens, Rhodes and Heraklion.
In Almirida fourteen parked cars were swept away into the sea as a surge of flood water gushed down the hillside
and down the street, into the sea. There are reports of a British resident missing in the area; his empty car was
found in a ravine.
Flood Damage Across Crete and Greece
13th Oct 2006
Bad weather and storms which hit Crete yesterday caused significant problems across the island.
In the Hania prefecture the worst hit areas were Akrotiri and Platanias to Voukolies, with flooded roads and homes.
A lightning strike caused serious damage to the DEH electricity lines in Akrotiri and the area was without electricity
overnight and until late today. Hania airport was closed yesterday evening as 143mm of rain fell in five hours (the
average yearly rainfall is 600mm), and 3 flights were unable to land. … an Olympic Airways flight returned to Athens,
and two charter flights diverted to Heraklion to land.
On mainland Greece flood damage wreaked havoc on the national road and railway network. A landslide temporarily
shut down the national road linking Athens to Thessaloniki near the port of Aghios Constantinos, in Fthiotida, causing
severe delays for motorists. The precarious conditions provoked by the bad weather caused two near disasters
yesterday. A motorist, swept away in his car by flood waters on the Lamia-Livadia national road, was rescued by a
bulldozer. Meanwhile, a large rock that fell into a street in Nea Makri, eastern Attica, after becoming dislodged from Mt
Pendeli, did not cause any injuries.
Haniotika Nea & Ekathimerini.com
Classrooms to remain shut for fifth week over pay dispute
13th Oct 2006
The Greek Primary School Teachers’ Federation (DOE) agreed yesterday to extend its strike action for a fifth week as
of Monday. Preschool and primary school teachers are striking over pay demands. Synaspismos Left Coalition leader
Alekos Alavanos yesterday proposed a parliamentary debate on education. In a request submitted to Parliament
Speaker Anna Psarouda-Benaki, Alavanos said that there has been turmoil in all levels of education in Greece since
the start of the academic year. Meanwhile, about half of the students that had held sit-in protests at 494 schools in
Greece started vacating buildings yesterday, allowing them to be used for Sunday’s municipal elections.
Murder charge in balcony fall
11th Oct 2006
A British tourist was charged by a prosecutor in Iraklion, Crete, with attempted murder yesterday as his girlfriend
fought for her life in a hospital after allegedly being pushed from a balcony and landing on an iron railing spike.
The unnamed 40-year-old allegedly shoved his 34-year-old girlfriend from the first floor balcony of their hotel room in
the popular resort of Malia at around 1.45 a.m. after the pair had an argument.
The woman suffered a punctured lung after landing on the spike and was rushed to the hospital in Iraklion for
surgery. Doctors said that she remained in a critical condition in intensive care last night.
Sources said the railing passed through her chest and stopped just short of piercing her heart. Firefighters had to cut
the women loose so she could be treated.
Authorities said the couple had been on holiday in Crete with the man’s 5-year-old son from a previous marriage.
Migrants at Sea
Group of 57 washed up on Aegean islet, another 40 feared to have drowned
11th Oct 2006
Greek rescue workers yesterday rescued 57 illegal immigrants from an islet off the southern Peloponnese and were
searching for another 40 believed to be lost at sea. According to the would-be migrants found on Antikythera, their
smuggling boat foundered in high seas near the islet and not all of them managed to reach the shore. The migrants,
mostly Afghans, claimed that another 40 had been aboard the vessel.
Hijack of Turkish plane flying over Greece ends peacefully
A Turkish man who hijacked a Turkish Airlines flight in Greek air space yesterday afternoon forced the plane to land in
Italy and then surrendered to police last night, asking for political asylum. The plane had been traveling from Tirana in
Albania to Istanbul with 113 passengers and crew on board when it was hijacked over Greece. Four Greek F16s
escorted the plane to the Albanian border, where two Italian fighter jets took over the task of shadowing the airliner.
The two men forced the plane to land in Brindisi . There were no reports of injuries.
Icon theft suspect arrested
Authorities arrested a Romanian national in Iraklion, Crete, yesterday who is thought to be the head of a gang that
allegedly stole a priceless icon from a monastery in Leonidio, in the eastern Peloponnese.
In August, a 700-year-old icon, which is said to have the power to work miracles, was stolen from the cliff-side Elona
Police said that they found jewelry and other items that had been placed on the icon as votive offerings at the home
of the 28-year-old suspect in Crete.
Additionally, footage of the monastery was also found on the suspect’s video camera.
The icon was not located but investigations are continuing in Athens where it may have been taken in order to be
Two other Romanian nationals were also questioned in connection to the theft yesterday in Tripolis, in the
Peloponnese, and Kavala, northern Greece.
Police have also alerted their Romanian counterparts to be on the lookout for the icon which may already have been
smuggled out of the country.
Crete police under investigation
6th September 2006
Public Order Minister Vyron Polydoras yesterday ordered police chiefs to conduct an internal investigation into the
theft of 200,000 euros in cash from a bank near Hania on Monday morning, as sources indicated that only one trainee
officer was on duty in the area at the time of the robbery.
The head of the Greek Police (ELAS), Anastassios Dimoschakis, initiated a probe into possible negligence on behalf of
officers in Crete after robbers used a bulldozer to smash their way into a branch of ATEbank in the village of Kalives
and stole a safe containing the cash.
The incident, which took place at 4.30 a.m., has proved embarrassing for the police, who appeared unprepared and
understaffed to prevent the raid or chase the robbers.
A patrol car that had its tires shot out by the thieves as it approached the bank was the only resistance provided by
authorities. Sources told Kathimerini that the officer driving the vehicle was a trainee who did not have any backup.
High-ranking officers and officials at the Public Order Ministry are also concerned by the apparent rise in crime in
western Crete, which the police seems unable to combat.
Dimoschakis has assigned the probe to the general inspector for southern Greece, Vassilis Tsiatouras, who flew to
Crete yesterday. In a statement, the Public Order Ministry said that he would be investigating the “organizational
planning” by officers on the island to fight crime and the “level of operational readiness and effectiveness” in reacting
to Monday’s theft.
Police sources said that at least 10 people were probably involved in the heist but officers said that CCTV footage
from the bank is not likely to be helpful in tracking down any of the thieves as the suspects destroyed the camera
when they broke into the bank.
Officers discovered yesterday that the small truck used by the robbers to flee the scene had been stolen from a used-
car dealership near Rethymnon.
Bank Robbery in Kalives
Thieves Smash into Bank with a Bulldozer
4th September 2006
Thieves smashed into the ATE bank in Kalives in the early hours of the morning with a bulldozer, getting away with a
safe filled with 200,000 euros in cash, and up to 130,000 euros from the ATM cash machine. A number of cement
trucks were stolen and placed by the entrance and exits to the village of Kalives, effectively sealing off the village
while the bank was bulldozed, and thieves fired warning gun shots in the air to keep residents away. The safe was
lifted onto the back of a pick up truck by the bulldozer and then sped away. Police believe up to 10 people were
involved in the highly organised raid. The burnt out shell of the pick up truck used in the getaway was found later in
the day near Rethymnon.
Fugitive convict profited by swindling house hunters.
2nd September. 2006
A 51-year-old fugitive from Alikarnassos jail in Crete, who is believed to have swindled dozens of house hunters, was
arrested on Thursday, police said yesterday. According to police, the convict would pose as a potential tenant in order
to obtain the keys to apartments, which he would then show to house hunters, posing as the owner in order to
pocket purchase deposits. It was unclear how much money he allegedly amassed in this way. The 51-year-old had
been serving a sentence for multiple cases of fraud and forgery.
Migrants detained in Hania
2nd September 2006
Authorities detained 119 illegal immigrants on a beach close to Hania, Crete, yesterday when the boat they were
traveling in ran aground close to the shore, resulting in the death of one migrant.
The immigrants, all males aged between 25-40, told authorities that they were from Pakistan and were headed for a
port in Italy.
They had started their journey from Alexandria, Egypt, on Tuesday.
However, rough weather caused their 12-meter wooden boat to run onto rocks close to Hania at about 4 a.m.
Most of them managed to reach the shore but one man drowned.
Police said that they had launched a search using a helicopter for three more immigrants believed to be missing.
The men, generally in good health, were taken to a boarding school in Hania, where they received medical treatment.
Authorities said that they were searching for the boat’s captain and one of its crew, who may be among the detained