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|Living in Crete
Crete & Greece
May - June 2007
German woman hit by stray bullet
30th June 2007 ekathimerini
A 47-year-old female tourist from Germany was injured late on Thursday in Hania, Crete, when she was hit in the
stomach by a stray bullet, police said yesterday. Police did not give any information regarding the shot fired.
Doctors said the injury was not life-threatening as the bullet did not damage any vital organs. The woman was
shot outside the hotel at which she was staying.
Earthquake Jolts Western Greek Islands
29th June 2007 AP
A magnitude 5.8 earthquake rattled Corfu and other western Greek islands Friday but there were no immediate
reports of injuries or damage, authorities said.
The Athens Geodynamic Institute said the quake occurred at 9:09 p.m. (1809 GMT), with its epicenter on the
Greek mainland 34 kilometers (21 miles) southwest of the northern port city of Igoumenitsa, or 335 kilometers
(210 miles) northwest of Athens.
The quake was felt on the islands of Corfu and nearby Paxos, but also on the western Greek mainland and
Forest fires ravage Greece
More than 100 blazes cause chaos, kill two people; blackouts continue
28th June 2007 ekathimerini
Dozens of fires ravaged thousands of hectares of land yesterday, killing two people, as an ebbing heat wave
continued to provoke blackouts across the country.
Fires were reported from more than 100 sites - some the continuation of blazes that started on Wednesday. Two
men, aged 36 and 42, died in Aghia, near Larissa in central Greece, after their truck was surrounded by flames. A
third man in the truck escaped unharmed.
Apart from Larissa, the worst of yesterday's fires were in Pelion and in Dervenohoria, Viotia. The work of
firefighters in Dervenohoria was hampered after buried World War Two mines exploded in the area. The blaze
was still spreading last night as strong winds fanned the flames in the direction of Mount Parnitha. Local hotels
and the casino were evacuated and firefighters erected a barrier to stop the fire spreading to the other side of
Of some 120 fires to have broken out since Wednesday, most had been extinguished by last night. Fire officials
believe some of the blazes may have been the work of arsonists.
A total of 24 water-dropping aircraft and 13 helicopters were mobilized to assist rescue efforts on the ground.
France and Italy sent two firefighting planes each after Greece appealed to the EU for help.
«We are facing an unprecedented situation,» Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos told reporters yesterday
after briefing Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.
According to Health Ministry officials, at least nine people have died of heat-related health problems since last
Meanwhile, many parts of the country were hit by power outages, some lasting for hours, due to increased
energy consumption. Although temperatures dropped significantly from Tuesday's 46 Celsius (115 Fahrenheit)
high, the heat was still oppressive and air conditioners were still on overdrive.
An explosion at an electricity substation in Thessaloniki sparked blackouts across most of northern Greece. The
Public Power Corporation (PPC) said the explosion, which caused no injuries, was caused by a malfunctioning
transformer that was being repaired. By late yesterday, parts of northern Greece were getting their power back.
Powercuts, Fires in Simmering Greece
27th June 2007 AFP, ERT
Sizzling high temperatures yesterday helped spark at least 95 fires across the country and caused blackouts in
many parts of Greece as the national power network struggled to meet increased demand.
The fire service was out in full force, striving to extinguish blazes in different parts of the country. One of the
worst fires was on the island of Poros where locals and tourists were evacuated as flames threatened to engulf
homes and hotels. There are no reports of any injuries.
Authorities said that the longest heatwave in Greece’s history had killed five people, but media put the
heatstroke death toll at least 10 people.
"The weather conditions have been unprecedented, we have never had a heat wave lasting for eight straight
days," development ministry general secretary Nikos Stefanou told private Flash Radio.
Athens on Tuesday registered heat up to 46.2 degrees Celsius (115.16 degrees Fahrenheit) in the western
district of Nea Filadelfia, the highest since recordings there began in 1955, the national weather service said.
National power consumption on Tuesday meanwhile set an all-time record at 10,496 MW, the Greek state-owned
public power corporation (PPC) said, reporting several serious power outages in the capital.
According to weather forecasts, high temperatures will gradually drop as of Thursday afternoon. The
temperature for the weekend will return to normal for this period of the year.
EU court action looms on six fronts
27th June 2007 ekathimerini
The European Commission threatened yesterday to take legal action against Greece on about six different fronts
unless the country moved ahead with changes to laws in areas relating to sports betting, notaries, road tunnels,
opticians and professional drivers.
The Commission said that it would take Greece - along with Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and Luxembourg -
to an EU court for allowing only their own nationals to practice as notaries.
The EU's executive arm said that the restrictions run contrary to the principle of freedom of establishment.
A similar issue has arisen in the field of optical stores. According to Greek law, only holders of optician diplomas
can operate optical stores.
Legal action is also being taken against Greece for failing to adopt EU directives aimed at improving the safety of
road tunnels longer than 500 meters.
The Greek government had until June 2006 to adopt stricter guidelines on the number of emergency exits and
types of firefighting systems in long tunnels.
The Commission also quizzed Greece yesterday in an official request for information on whether its sports betting
laws were in line with EU rules.
Although the European Commission is not seeking to liberalize the sports gambling market, it has recently been
leading an offensive against state monopolies in the sector, which it says keep out newcomers.
Bank customer killed by armed robbers
27th June 2007 ekathimerini
A 61-year-old man who attempted to stop two armed men after they held up a bank in Ilion, western Athens,
was killed yesterday because he thought the assailants were using fake guns, police said.
The holdup took place at a National Bank branch at around 10 a.m., when the two armed men entered the bank
and ordered employees to hand over the money before firing a warning shot into the air. The two culprits, who
were both wearing black motorcycle helmets, then ran out of the bank where they came across the 61-year-old
who had been about to enter the branch. The man ordered the two culprits to halt and said he was not afraid,
accusing them of wielding fake weapons. One the assailants then shot the man four times at close range, killing
Another two people also suffered slight injuries from bullets that ricocheted
Iraklion-Cardiff flight grounded
23rd June 2007 ekathimerini
A flight carrying 185 passengers from Iraklion, Crete, to Cardiff, Wales, returned to the island yesterday and
made an emergency landing due to a problem with the landing gear. The plane, which had taken off from Nikos
Kazantzakis Airport, returned shortly after takeoff and landed safely. The plane was kept grounded at the airport
as technicians inspected it for any mechanical problems .
Danish man brings back Athena artifact
22nd June 2007 ekathimerini
A 4th century BC sculpted fragment of the ancient goddess Athena, removed from Greece in the late 19th
century, was returned yesterday by a Danish historian.
The fragment, depicting the torso of the goddess Athena, was taken to Denmark in 1897 by the Danish war
correspondent Alexander Svenstrup, who gave it to the family of historian Paul Hartvigson, Culture Minister
Giorgos Voulgarakis told a presentation ceremony in Athens.
“My uncle Carsten Dahl inherited this 30 years ago and... wanted to return it before he died,” Hartvigson told
Agence France-Presse. “It’s been in our family for 97 years... it was time it came back,” said Hartvigson, who
came to Athens instead of Dahl, whose health is poor.
Voulgarakis highlighted the “tremendous symbolic significance” of Dahl’s gesture, adding that it vindicates Greece’
s efforts to reclaim missing artifacts.
Violence at music festivals
18th June 2007 Ekathimerini.com
Groups of youths rioted after two music concerts this weekend, leading to one policeman being hospitalized and
at least six cars being destroyed, according to authorities.
The first incident occurred after a concert in Gazi, near central Athens, on Friday night. Some 20 youths attacked
a plainclothes officer outside the Kerameikos metro station at about 10 p.m. The assailants used pieces of wood
and other objects to beat the policeman.
The officer was taken to the hospital where he is being treated and in stable condition.
A second riot took place at the Olympic baseball venue in Hellenikon, southern Athens, on Saturday night when
tens of youths went on the rampage at the “Ejekt” music festival.
Youths wearing crash helmets gatecrashed the venue, vandalized the facilities and burned six cars. Another two
vehicles were also damaged as the remainder of the concert was cancelled and the audience told to leave the
venue. No arrests were made after either incident.
Greek police officer suspended over beating of detainees
16th June 2007 Associated Press
Greek authorities have suspended a police sergeant, accused of beating two detainees last year at a central
Athens police precinct.
Video footage, posted on a Web site and broadcast Saturday on Greek TV stations, showed the sergeant slap
the two men and beat them with a stick at the downtown Omonoia police precinct in June 2006.
The men — whose identities were not released — were also forced to take turns slapping each other while two
other men are heard laughing.
It was not immediately clear who recorded the images, but media reports speculated another policeman
recorded the incident on his cell phone and circulated it among other officers.
Greek Prime Minister Costas Caramanlis — touring the island of Crete — described the incident as an "affront to
the Greek state, condemned by everyone."
We are shocked ... No one has the right to abuse the law and no one has the right to tarnish Greece's image,"
The sergeant, who was not identified, was suspended and police have launched an internal investigation. A
precinct chief was also suspended, but it was not believed he was involved in the beating.
Private MEGA TV quoted the sergeant as telling an investigating officer that he and his colleagues were "just
Public Order Minister Vyron Polydoras has vowed to punish those involved in "this unacceptable act".
Briton arrested as police raid cocaine lab in Greece
14th June 2007 Daily Mail
Police have arrested five suspects - including a Briton - after raiding a cocaine lab near Athens. They described
the lab as the first of its kind to have been discovered in the European Union.
Cocaine weighing 26kg (57lbs) was seized along with drug manufacturing equipment at the lab on the coast
about 50km (30 miles) south of Athens.
The Finance Ministry, whose fraud department handles such operations in Greece, said information for the
operation was provided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Greece's National Intelligence Service.
The ministry's fraud agency said a British man, two Venezuelans and two Albanians were arrested on drug
trafficking charges. Authorities did not release their identities.
The agency said the suspects were believed to be linked to a Colombian drug cartel.
An agency statement said the lab used "primary materials" to manufacture cocaine. It said it was the first time
such a lab had been found in the EU, but did not give other details.
Greece has pledged to expand co-operation with overseas agencies to fight trafficking.
Earlier this month, Greek police arrested one of Australia's most wanted men, convicted cocaine trafficker Tony
He is facing extradition to Australia to serve a sentence of at least nine years and face additional charges for
drug trafficking and murder.
13th June 2007 ekathimerini
Coast guard officials said yesterday a parcel washed up on the shores of Kissamos, Crete, that contained 34
kilos of cannabis. The cannabis had been damaged by the seawater as officials believe it had been at sea for a
long time. Other parcels containing cannabis have also been found recently on other beaches in Greece.
Arrests for murder of two nuns
11th June 2007 ekathimerini
Two men have been arrested on suspicion of killing a pair of nuns at a convent in the eastern Peloponnese just
under two months ago, police said yesterday, adding that a third suspect has fled to the Former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
The two suspects, one Greek and another from FYROM, and their accomplice, also from FYROM, allegedly broke
into the 17th century Astrocostas Convent near the town of Astros in April and killed the nuns, aged 86 and 83,
by suffocating them with pillows.
They then stole some 20,000 euros and $3,000 in cash, 21 gold sovereigns, icon offerings and a valuable cross.
Police said that the two men in their custody had confessed to the crime and admitted selling the valuables in
Monastiraki market in Athens and in FYROM.
Police said they had also arrested a third man, believed to be a friend of the Greek suspect, after some of the
gold offerings were found in his possession.
Police close on Cretan ATM gangs
9th June 2007 ekathimerini
Two gangs that hide out on Mount Psiloritis on Crete are behind a spate of raids on ATMs on the island in which
the cash machines have been yanked out of walls with 4x4 vehicles, police sources said yesterday.
The robbers have smashed open six ATMs in the last six months, netting them some 250,000 euros. All the raids
have happened in villages or towns near the mountain, leading police to believe that the robbers are based
somewhere in the area.
A number of suspects are being watched but sources said the police are not planning to make any arrests until
they have more evidence.
It is believed that the two gangs do not work together as one set of robbers seems to have better planning and
knowledge of what they are doing than the other.
However, they both use the same technique of tying a rope around the ATMs and pulling them out of the wall.
Police on Crete have advised banks to drill deeper holes into the ground to secure the cash machines and to
make it difficult for vehicles to approach them.
G8 link to arson attacks on German targets in Greece
9th June 2007 ekathimerini
Police were last night looking to round up a number of suspects after seven early morning arson attacks on
German-related targets in Athens and Thessaloniki in raids linked to protests at the G8 summit in Germany.
In what appeared to be a coordinated plan, three targets were attacked in Athens in the space of some 10
At about 1 a.m., an explosive device made of camping gas canisters went off under an empty school bus
belonging to the Greek-German School in Pangrati, eastern Athens. The bus and a parked car were destroyed.
Similar devices went off a couple of minutes later at an Opel dealership on Kifissos Avenue in the west of the city.
Three cars were destroyed in the blaze.
Minutes after that, an explosion destroyed six cars at a Mercedes-Benz dealership on the national road near the
Kifissia junction in northern Athens. Nobody was hurt in the incidents.
In Thessaloniki, four German-related targets were attacked within a 20-minute period.
At about 1 a.m., assailants doused a cash machine outside a Lidl supermarket in a flammable liquid and set fire
to the ATM. Two Mercedes-Benz dealerships and a Miele electrical goods showroom were attacked some 20
minutes later. Two cars were destroyed in the raids. There were no injuries.
The bombings occurred just a few days after police arrested three suspected anarchists in Palaio Faliron,
southern Athens, as they were allegedly set to place explosive devices under a municipal police car.
Police believe that yesterday’s attacks were carried out in sympathy with thousands of protesters at the G8
summit in Heiligendamm, northern Germany.
Ekathimerini 9th June
Two tax officers were arrested in Thessaloniki yesterday accused of seeking a bribe in exchange for helping to
return 480,000 euros in VAT tax to a local businessman, authorities said. The two officials, a man and a woman,
had taken delivery of a 30,000-euro amount in marked bills at a canteen near the tax office when police
intervened and arrested them. They have both been suspended from their duties and will be subject to
Ekathimerini 7th June 2007
A 39-year-old man has been arrested in Athens on suspicion of blackmailing a food company and threatening to
tamper with their products. Police said yesterday that the unnamed suspect demanded 50,000 euros from the
company, which was also not named, otherwise he would poison the firm’s products and put consumers lives at
risk. Officers arrested the man as he went to pick up an envelope that contained the money. Four other food
companies also claim to have been blackmailed by the man.
Child, 4, in intensive care after falling down escalator at airport
Ekathimerini 7th June 2007
A 4-year-old boy was being treated in the intensive-care unit of the Aghia Sofia Hospital in Athens yesterday
after falling from a moving escalator at Athens International Airport. The child suffered serious head injuries after
falling some 10 meters. The boy had gone to the airport with his mother to see off a relative. He had been
playing at the top of a stationary escalator but slipped over the side when the steps were activated. Doctors
said the unnamed boy was in a stable condition.
Deadly puffer fish seen in Greek waters
Ekathimerini.com 5th June
Rising temperatures in the Mediterranean Sea have created appropriate conditions for the migration of a puffer
fish from the Red Sea that can be lethal to humans, authorities said yesterday.
According to researchers, the Lagocephalus sceleratus carries potentially deadly toxins in its liver, skin and
reproductive organs which are capable of causing muscle paralysis, breathing and blood circulation problems if
“Our health inspection office has alerted all associations of fishermen and fish merchants,” the Athens prefecture
said in a statement.
The grey fish, which has a beak-shaped mouth and four large teeth, has been sighted in waters off the
Dodecanese islands of Rhodes and Symi as well as off Crete.
ekathimerini 5th June
Veteran comic actor Sotiris Moustakas died early yesterday at the age of 67. Moustakas, who is to be buried at
the Halandri cemetery tomorrow, collapsed during rehearsals for a performance in Athens. The exact cause of
death was unclear. Moustakas was «one of the most significant comic actors to have emerged from Greece and
Cyprus,» said Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. The Limassol-born actor, whose career spanned more than 40
years and included 76 appearances in films and stage plays, was «always modest, supportive of young actors,»
said Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis
3rd June 2007
For Amalia the Greek blogger who...
.....denounced doctors violating their oath by demanding back handers (fakelaki), and the bureaucracy which
meant that she couldn’t get the treatment she needed.
Amalia Kalyvinou died last week of cancer, aged 30, but her blog lives on and her word has spread throughout
the internet. Greek bloggers united forces to put up a special site http://giatinamalia-blog.blogspot.com/ in
Youtube.com with Amalia’s odyssey translated into many languages, including videos voicing her
denouncements. It took minutes for thousands of Internet users to bombard the Health Minsitry, doctors’
associations as well as foreign politicians with e-protest messages.
In her blog Amalia names names and denounces doctors who mistreated her, as well as praises those who
helped her. Amalia's blog entitled 'Malpractice' is at http://fakellaki.blogspot.com/
Unruly drivers face crackdown
2nd June 2007 www.ekathimerini.com
Tougher penalties for drivers caught breaching traffic regulations will come into effect tomorrow with fines
increasing by as much as 400 percent.
According to the new rules, drivers caught running a red light will be fined 700 euros, versus the current –167
Those found not wearing a seat belt will be hit with a –350 penalty – the current fine stands at 83 euros.
The Transport Ministry has said it is targeting driving offenses considered to be more dangerous, while the
penalty hike for other offenses, such as illegal parking, will not be as steep.
The tougher regulations have provoked mixed reactions from professional road users, but many agree that it is
simply a revenue-raising measure by the government.
The new regulations will also toughen the penalty points system, the implementation of which has so far proved
The lack of an appropriate computer system and poor communication between government departments has
meant that some 2.5 million drivers who should have lost their licenses over the last four years did not.
Greeks top list of EU corpulent
31st May 2007 www.ekathimerini.com
Greeks are the most obese people in the EU, with one in three men and 25 percent of woman considered to be
overweight, according to data presented by the EU Commission yesterday.
Poor diets based on fatty and sweet ingredients combined with the lack of physical exercise account for six of the
seven top factors leading to bad health, according to EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou. “Now the
biggest problem of obesity is in the southern member states who have abandoned the Mediterranean diet and
go for the same kind of nutrition of fast food as elsewhere,” he said.
In second place on the obesity lists come men from Malta and women from Cyprus.
The Commission said that it was considering tightening food advertising and nutrition labeling rules if companies
failed to improve consumer awareness about unhealthy foods.
Kyprianou said that he wanted to “encourage” food companies to provide consumers with full information about
the health risks associated with their products.
Six hikers die in flash flood
30th May 2007 www.ekathimerini.com
The two owners of the company that organized a hiking expedition in the western Peloponnese on Saturday,
which ended in tragedy when at least six people were killed in flash floods, yesterday faced an investigating
magistrate on charges of manslaughter and causing bodily harm through neglect.
Six hikers, aged 23 to 36, drowned after falling into the Lousios River, whose banks gave way late on Saturday
under heavy rain. Another 10 hikers were recovered safely but the two other members of the 18-strong, all-
Greek expedition, a man and a woman, were still missing yesterday.
The owners of No Limits Outdoor Sports, Leonardos Moraitis and Constantinos Christopoulos, say they took
precautions but claim that hikers refused to wear helmets and life jackets due to the heat.
A member of the rescue effort, which continued last night, said none of the hikers had helmets, life jackets or the
special rope they are supposed to carry.
The fact that the hikers were not wearing helmets is «a major oversight,» according to Costas Tsivelekas, the
president of the Athens Mountaineering Association.
«There is always a great risk of falling when walking along a river,» he said.
The Hellenic Association of Tourism and Travel Agencies (HATTA) said the company that organized the expedition
does not have a license to operate as a tourist enterprise. But professional hiking organizations said such
licenses do not oblige companies to impose safety regulations and recruit trained guides. «We have been
pushing for a legal framework for mountain sports,» said Dimitris Georgoulis, president of the Panhellenic
Federation of Hiking and Climbing.
Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said a working group set up by the Tourism Ministry is looking
into the creation of new laws to boost safety in «this new form of rapidly growing tourism.»
Son acquitted of murder charges
24th May 2007 BBC
Charges have been dropped against a Cornishman accused of murdering his parents in Crete.
Ryan Johnson, 33, has been on bail unable to leave the Greek island since 2006 when his parents Terry, 53, and
Josephine, 54, were strangled there.
The dance teacher denied the charges, and people in his home village of Newlyn have raised money to help him.
Greek prosecutors now have 30 days in which to appeal against the country's Counsel of Judges' acquittal.
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said the Foreign Office told the force he had been officially acquitted
of the murder.
He said: "At present Devon and Cornwall Police are not investigating any allegations concerning Mr Ryan Johnson
and do not seek to speak to him about any current investigations."
Catherine Wolthuizen, chief executive of the charity Fair Trials Abroad, said Greek prosecutors had formally
recommended dropping the charges as there was no motive or evidence connecting him to the crime.
Mr and Mrs Johnston were found stabbed and strangled with a washing line at their home in Almyrida in north-
west Crete on 12 March 2006.
Italian law change could benefit Greek olive oil producers, traders
22 may 2007 ekathimerini
The Italian government is seeking to pass a bill forcing olive oil trading companies to state in detail the origin of
their raw material, which would certainly benefit Greek producers who supply the Italian companies.
This is the first time that the major manufacturers in Italy will have to reveal that most of the olive oil in Italy is
actually Spanish, Tunisian or Greek. Italy is not only the biggest exporter of olive oil but also the biggest
importer. Its annual production of 650,000 tons cannot even meet domestic demand.
The Italian olive producers’ association (UNAPROL) estimates that just 20 percent of “Italian” olive oil actually
comes from olives grown in Italy. Until recently, producers were allowed to label as “Italian” any olive oil that
came from another country as long as it was blended in that Mediterranean country.
“It’s a con, pure and simple, like selling Gucci which isn’t Gucci, or a Rolex which isn’t a Rolex,” Massimo Gargano,
head of UNAPROL, told Reuters last week.
However, the new draft law dictates that companies must write on labels where the olives are grown and where
they are pressed. Of course, the European Commission may hamper the passing of the bill if it breaks EU law.
The new regulation is expected to hurt the strong companies which usually trade olive oil blends using the image
of Italy, while it could encourage Italian producers to sell Italian virgin olive oil at higher prices as a premium
The amendment of Community law concerning olive oil labeling is also under examination at this stage in Brussels
by the competent bodies. The 1019/2002 regulation provides for the labeling and trading of olive oil with the
writing of the product’s origin being optional for extra virgin olive oil and virgin olive oil bottles, while it is
forbidden to be written on blended olive oil bottles.
Study shows country has drought pattern
21 May 2007 ekathimerini
As preparations to tackle a possible water shortage this summer gather pace, a new study seen by Sunday’s
Kathimerini suggested that Greece has suffered one- or two-year droughts at regular intervals over the last 147
The research shows that there has been a mild one-year drought roughly every five years, a serious one-year
drought every 10 years and an extensive two-year drought about every 25 years.
The report produced by the Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems and Forest Products shows that
Greece’s worst drought on record was in 1898 when there was only 116 centimeters of rainfall during the whole
The most recent drought was in 2000, when annual rainfall totaled just 228 centimeters.
However, the study indicates that a year of drought and a year of heavy rainfall, which leads to flooding, are
usually only one or two years apart.
The scientists who took part in the research suggest that the study could be used by authorities to prepare for
droughts or floods.
“The common factor in the last two droughts (1989-90 and 2000-01) has been that the measures to ease their
impact were taken once the effects were already visible,” Dr Giorgos Baloutsos of the National Agricultural
Research Foundation told Kathimerini.
“The drawing up of a plan to manage a drought is even more useful today,” Baloutsos added. “The lack of such a
plan means that we are tackling this year’s drought problems with last-minute measures that are usually costly
and have limited impact.”
EU caps roaming mobile phone fees
23rd May 2007 BBC
The cost of making mobile phone calls in Europe is set to fall substantially after lawmakers backed plans to cap
so-called "roaming" charges.
The amount mobile customers are charged by local phone operators for using their handsets while abroad
should now fall by as much as 75%.
More than 150 million people across Europe will be affected by the changes in the pricing regime.
But the new charges are not likely to come into effect until later this year.
The changes still need to be approved by the member governments of the 27-nation bloc, although these
approvals are considered a formality.
But consumers will not feel the benefits of lower prices until late July or early August at the earliest, too late for
many people travelling in Europe this summer.
Text messaging will not be covered by the proposals.
Brussels has sought for some time to regulate the cost of making mobile phone calls when abroad, after finding
huge differences in what people have to pay in different countries of the EU.
Under the plans, the cost of making a mobile call anywhere in the EU would be capped at 49 euro cents (33p) a
minute in year one, while receiving a call would cost 24 cents (16p) at most.
These costs should now fall to 46 euro cents (31p) and 22 cents (14.9p) respectively in year two, and 43 cents
and 19 cents in year three.
British mobile users currently have to pay up to 5.92 euros (£4.03) for a four-minute call made while in Spain.
Under the changes, this would fall to 1.96 euros (£1.33).
As part of the plans, mobile users would receive a free text message informing them how much they will have to
pay when travelling abroad.
British Ambassador Visits Crete
19th May 2007 Haniotika Nea
The British Ambassador to Greece, Simon Gass, arrived in Crete yesterday for the Battle of Crete
commemorations. During a visit with the Chania Prefecture Deputy, Grigoris Arxondakis, the two discussed the
long standing co-operation between Britain and Greece, and the concerns for future tourism developments, as
well as the integration of the ever increasing number of Britons living in the Hania area. Mr Arxondakis offered
to arrange a meeting with British residents in order for them to keep in touch with the local authorities.
Sunken Santorini ship data collected
17th May 2007 ekathimerini.com
The Hellenic Center of Maritime Research (ELKETHE) yesterday completed collecting data on the position of a
sunken cruise ship off the island of Santorini, some 40 days after the vessel’s sinking.
The owner of the cruise ship, Cyprus-based Louis Hellenic Cruise Lines, requires the data in order to put
together a plan to pump out some 430 tons of diesel believed to still be in the ship’s fuel tanks at a depth of 150
Sources said that an operation to remove the fuel is not expected to take place until midsummer.
Despite the fuel tanks not being damaged, experts believe the oil has been gradually leaking from the vessel
since the April 5 accident.
Champions League Final Athens. Police to protest.
16th May 2007 AP
ATHENS, Greece - Greek police will hold a uniformed protest on the day of the Champions League final.
The Greek Police Officers' Federation, a union that is banned from striking, said officers would protest on May 23
to press demands for pay hikes and improved working conditions.
The federation rejected an appeal by the country's public order minister to change the date of the protest, and
accused the government of ignoring its demands.
It had given the government until Tuesday to respond.
Federation leader Dimitris Kyriazidis urged members not to give in to a likely request by the police leadership to
call off the protest rally.
"We have done that in the past and look where it got us," he said.
Federation officials insisted the protest would not disrupt plans to deploy more than 15,000 officers in the capital
on the day of the match at the Olympic Stadium, where Liverpool will face AC Milan.
Officials at Athens International Airport said they are expecting about 35,000 supporters to use the airport
between May 21 and 24.
"The main bulk of fans from the two teams will enter the country from Athens International Airport," said Dimitris
Georgopoulos, and airport official who is helping co-ordinate scores of charter flights expected for the game.
"We're expecting about 14,000 fans from Italy, and 20,000 from Britain."
Five regional airports will be on standby for stopovers, to assist with the heavy air traffic.
Greek police have held several meetings with colleagues from the two countries and have drawn up plans to
keep fans separated during their Athens stay.
Rival supporters will use different airport terminal buildings, where the sale of alcohol will be suspended, and
travel into the capital by different routes, Liverpool fans by bus and Milan fans by train.
Supporters will also be handed coloured wrist bands to co-ordinate crowds at the stadium.
Greek police unions have staged dozens of protests in recent years, including rallies before the 2004 Olympics in
Athens, when they also handed out fliers at Athens' airport. At a 2003 demonstration, protesting police clashed
with riot squads in Athens' main square.
Sailor’s death hits cruise firm
15th May 2007 ekathimerini
One sailor was killed and another suffered leg injuries yesterday in an accident aboard a cruise ship belonging to
Louis Cruise Lines, the company that owned the Sea Diamond which sank off Santorini in April.
The accident occurred when a cable being used to moor the vessel in the port of Myconos struck the sailors. The
cause of the accident was not immediately clear. The local coast guard has launched an investigation.
None of the 480 passengers on board the Orient Queen was injured. The vessel was on a cruise of several
Greek islands. Authorities said the sailor who was killed was an Indonesian national, as was his colleague who
Louis Cruise Lines expressed its regret over the incident but said that both sailors had been wearing protective
clothing and helmets when the accident took place.
The company said that the strong wind could have caused the cable to snap and hit the sailors. Sources told
Kathimerini that the wind had been blowing at 6 Beaufort at the time the ship was trying to dock.
Two stabbed to death in brawl
15th May 2007 ekathimerini
An argument among teenagers at a basketball court in Thessaloniki turned fatal on Sunday after escalating into
a brawl in which two youths were stabbed to death over possession of a ball, police said yesterday.
A 17-year-old Georgian and a second youth from Albania, aged 18, were killed when a fight broke out involving
some 15 youths between the ages of 17 and 24.
Police said a group of teenagers from Georgia were watching some other youths – mostly of Albanian origin –
play basketball when the ball bounced off the court toward them. The two groups began to trade insults before
fighting broke out with knives, crowbars and wooden poles. “The fight started for a ridiculous reason and some
swearing. It spread from the court to a nearby children’s playground in a few minutes and ended with the loss of
two lives,” a police source said. Police made five arrests.
Fire damage in Hania Old Town
Ekathimerini 12th May 2007
A three-story building was damaged in the old center of Hania, Crete, yesterday due to a fire that broke out
early in the day, authorities said. No one was hurt in the incident. Some 26 firefighters using six fire trucks were
involved in the operation to put out the blaze before it spread to adjoining buildings. An investigation has been
launched into the causes of the fire.
Greece 23rd in mum review
12 th May ekathimerini
Two days ahead of Mother’s Day on Sunday, a survey by an international humanitarian group said that Greece
ranks 23rd in the world on a list of 140 countries based on the well-being of mothers.
Save the Children, a US-based organization, ranked the countries on criteria including maternal leave benefits,
participation of women in government and the education available to them.
Sweden topped the world list, with Nigeria in last position.
Greek women have a life expectancy of 81 years and are expected to receive 16 years of formal schooling,
according to the group.
Greece’s rating regarding the well-being of children places the country at position No 20.
Italy tops the children’s list followed by Iceland.
2nd May 2007 ekathimerini
Rescue teams continued yesterday to search for a 60-year-old woman in a mountainous area near Hania, Crete,
after she was reported missing on Monday. The woman had gone picking greens in the area of Omalos along
with a group of 34 people. However, she failed to return to the bus at the end of the day, prompting members of
the group to notify police. A military helicopter, two airplanes and over 45 people are taking part in the search.
Officers’ strike might hit final
2nd May www.ekathimerini
Public Order Minister Vyron Polydoras called on police on Monday to drop plans for a May 23 strike, the day the
soccer Champions League final will be held in Athens, in order to avoid compromising security at the event.
Police unions have said they are considering a strike to support demands for improved wages and working
conditions following a series of attacks on police targets by self-styled anarchists in recent weeks.
The minister requested the strike date be changed and said that he was acting as an adviser to police rather
than in his capacity as the public order minister, a ministry source said. Police union representatives did not reply
on Monday and said they will make their final decision between May 15 and 23.
More than 17,000 officers are expected to be on duty in the capital for the final.