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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 13-08-05

Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

Monday, 5 August 2013 Issue No: 4425

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Samaras distances himself from an early election
  • [02] SYRIZA reaction to PM Samaras' newspaper interview
  • [03] Debt settlement perk to extend to all pension funds, labour minister tells ANA-MPA
  • [04] SYRIZA's Dragassakis in 'To Vima': 'no to policy of deficits'
  • [05] SYRIZA wants country to fail, gov't replies to main opposition criticism
  • [06] DIMAR: Gov't 'on the wrong track' over public-sector layoffs
  • [07] Sudden death layoffs in public sector a 'bad joke', Ind. Greeks MP says
  • [08] Interior minister places emphasis on ruling out early elections
  • [09] Job applications for new public television reach 8044
  • [10] KKE leader stresses historic 'message' of EAM-ELAS victory over Nazis in Karoutes
  • [11] Fire brigade: "We did not ask Golden Dawn for help in Markopoulo fire"
  • [12] Finmin: No more bailouts without dismissals from public sector
  • [13] Greece will very soon be an energy hub, Environment minister says
  • [14] New developmental law increased applications from businesses, ministry reports
  • [15] Building permit for 'The Mall' not valid, Council of State finds; proposes 'fix'
  • [16] German man, 72, arrested as a spy on Chios
  • [17] Three arrested for arson by negligence in connection to Markopoulo fire
  • [18] Isthmia forest fire subsiding, one home damaged
  • [19] Rafina archaeological dig to get new lease of life
  • [20] Off-duty officer shot in Santorini street fight admitted to hospital
  • [21] Suspects charged in connection with large Greek-Albanian drug-trafficking ring
  • [22] Escaped Grevena prison inmate, 25, caught in Athens
  • [23] Halkidiki nightclub shut down 48 hours for tax offences
  • [24] Police station chief suspended for not enforcing nightclub shutdown order
  • [25] Abandoned truck with contraband cigarettes found in Drama
  • [26] Cooler on Monday
  • [27] The Sunday edition of Athens newspapers at a glance Politics

  • [01] PM Samaras distances himself from an early election

    In an interview with Saturday's edition of "Ta Nea" newspaper, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras placed himself against an early election and reassured that no fresh austerity measures were to be taken.

    "I neither wish nor will I seek early elections," Samaras said, adding however that this did not mean he "would be willing to accept any blackmail by any side". He explained that "if I see any blackmail or pressures of any other sort, then obviously other parties will be responsible for whatever happens."

    The premier stressed that his focus was on stability and a full four-year term of the government "for the sake of the country."

    "There will be no new austerity measures. And conditions this year will be very different", Samaras underlined, adding that "now the prerequisites are there for an economic recovery, and insofar we remain on the right track, this will not take long to happen."

    As far as the suspension of 12,500 public service employees is concerned, the premier said that this number accounted for only 3.5 percent of the total number of public servants, and of that only two percent will be eventually laid off and will be replaced by new staff to cover real needs, such as in hospitals.

    In addition, Samaras said that should the VAT "experiment" (meaning VAT reduction from 23 pct to 13 pct in the food and restaurant sector) is successful and the country achieves a primary surplus, then more tax cuts may be requested.

    Commenting on his forthcoming visit to the United States and his meeting with President Barak Obama, the Greek premier said that "in the face of the US president we see a friend and an ally, but such relationships need to be redefined in critical times, such as the one we are currently going through."

    "I believe that US's concerns for stability in the Eastern Mediterranean coincide with our own concerns," he said.

    [02] SYRIZA reaction to PM Samaras' newspaper interview

    In a press release issued on Saturday by the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA), the main opposition party commented on the Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' interview with Ta Nea newspaper by saying that "Mr. Samaras's interview reveals his desperate attempt to stay in power."

    SYRIZA emphasized that the re-telling of the ?success story? and the hackneyed forecasts for growth, investments, new jobs and an exit from the tunnel were canceled by the harsh reality of mass layoffs, foreclosures of homes and the collapse of the economy precisely because of the "memorandum" policy faithfully and devotedly followed by the Prime Minister.

    "Their time is running out and the ceaseless efforts of society will not allow Mr. Samaras and his government to accomplish their destructive work," SYRIZA added.

    [03] Debt settlement perk to extend to all pension funds, labour minister tells ANA-MPA

    The government will extend current perks for those that settle their debts with IKA to all the social insurance funds, Labour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis told the ANA-MPA on Sunday. Under the measures, IKA debtors that negotiate a settlement to pay off their 2013 debts in 12 monthly installments are eligible to be included in the 'New Start' measure for affirmed debts up to December 2012.

    The minister stressed that there would be no new debt-settlement measures after this one, however, and strongly advised debtors to make use of this opportunity.

    Vroutsis noted that a policy of repeatedly introducing new settlements has harmed the social insurance system by cultivating unreliability in making payments. He repeated that the recently established Centre for Collecting Social Insurance Debts (KEAO) will put a final stop to the accumulation of debts owed to health and pension funds via uniform collection methods, alongside efforts to collect outstanding taxes.

    "The dozens of fragmentary and repeated measures undermined the competitiveness of the national economy, leading healthy businesses to close as a result of unfair competition and social insurance funds to an impasse due to accumulating debts exceeding 15 billion euros," the minister pointed out.

    He noted that these past debt-settlement measures had also taken on a "clientelist" nature linked to changes in government or even individual ministers, as well as cultivating unreliability.

    The labour ministry's decision will allow thousands of businesses and freelance workers to enter the 'New Start' measure by allowing a gradual repayment of debts up to June 2017.

    Prior to the ministry's decision, those eligible for 'New Start' had to be fully paid up for all social insurance contributions due between January 1, 2013 and their inclusion in the measure. This barred several that had accumulated debts between January and June 2013 when the measure came into force and could not pay the full amount in one go.

    Labour ministry staff noted that the 12 installments will allow settlement of the vast majority of debts, which are between 15,000 and 20,000 euros. Regarding the KEAO, they noted that the various collection systems previously used by health and pension funds had greatly differing levels of efficiency, with the IKA service being even more efficient than the tax office while the fund for the self-employed OAEE allowing debts to accumulate and amassing huge deficits as a result.

    In a recent move, OAEE set out nearly 380,000 letters demanding overdue debts, the first time such a measure has been taken so extensively. In a similar effort in 2012 when 90,000 letters were sent, this resulted in the payment of 38 pct of the amounts owed.

    [04] SYRIZA's Dragassakis in 'To Vima': 'no to policy of deficits'

    Main opposition SYRIZA MP Yiannis Dragassakis called for a redefinition of the meaning of the primary deficit and the redesigning of plans for utilising European funds, in statements printed by the Sunday edition of the Greek newspaper "To Vima".

    The SYRIZA MP also stressed the need to say "no to the policy of deficits".

    Replying to questions about SYRIZA, he underlined that the new united SYRIZA was now a fact and had emerged from its conference "stronger and united, ready for a new great opening to society and the forces that look to it as a force of hope and prospects".

    [05] SYRIZA wants country to fail, gov't replies to main opposition criticism

    Replying to renewed criticism from main opposition SYRIZA over promises for further austerity measures apparently made by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in a letter to Greece's creditors, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou on Sunday accused SYRIZA of "wanting Greece to fail" and being unable to hide it.

    "We will not do them that favour," Kedikoglou added.

    He was replying to a SYRIZA announcement that again criticised Samaras for sending a "secret" letter to Greece's creditors and promising further harsh measures, despite his earlier claims that no new measures would be needed. SYRIZA slammed Samaras for putting his signature to "human sacrifices and seizures of homes and once again proving how unreliable and dangerous he is for society and the country".

    According to the party, the "road had opened for a democratic overthrow of the government and the creation of a new social majority that, with a government of the Left, will put an end to the destruction".

    Criticism was also directed at the government by SYRIZA MP and head for administrative reform Alexis Mitropoulos, who asserted that the mass layoffs announced did not aim at a more efficient state sector but a "state without social services, without an employment policy".

    He noted that the number of civil servants in Greece was now the smallest in the Eurozone and European Union, even based on figures given by the government and Greece's creditors, while spending on wages as a proportion of GDP was the lowest.

    According to Mitropoulos, all recent actions and statements of the government and troika representatives confirmed their dire and "societicidal" intentions and an attitude that "a 'rogue' state and debt colony had no right to a modern, functioning, technologically advanced and fully staffed state".

    "This is their admitted and official goal," the MP added.

    [06] DIMAR: Gov't 'on the wrong track' over public-sector layoffs

    The opposition Democratic Left (DIMAR) party on Sunday criticised the government for accepting demands from Greece's creditors to dismiss public-sector staff, responding to statements made by Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras that Greece would be denied further bailout loans unless it complied.

    "The government started on the wrong track by accepting the showcasing of dismissals as the vanguard and core of administrative reform. Indeed, the threat that unless dismissals were carried out we would not get the next tranche is tantamount to a call to accept irrationality as an official policy," a party announcement said.

    The government, instead of implementing the unacceptable demands made by the troika of Greece's creditors, should highlight to Greece's partners the massive social and fiscal cost of the measures, instead of the supposed benefit, which will arise from the disorganisation of public operations and the deteriorating services to citizens. Improving the public sector can only come about by a rational distribution of staff and systematic control of results, by fighting bureaucracy and corruption, DIMAR stressed.

    [07] Sudden death layoffs in public sector a 'bad joke', Ind. Greeks MP says

    Government plans to dismiss thousands from the public sector were slammed as a "bad joke at the expense of Greek society" by opposition Independent Greeks MP Marina Chrysoveloni in statements on Sunday.

    "The 'sudden death' of thousands of civil servants overnight, without the required evaluation on the pretext of restructuring the public sector and collecting the next tranches of bailout loans is nothing more than a bad joke at the expense of the Greek people," she said regarding the suspensions and mobility scheme, accusing the government of being 'foot-soldiers for the troika, whose only goal was to satisfy the extreme demands of the foreign partners'.

    [08] Interior minister places emphasis on ruling out early elections

    It is a national obligation for everyone to rule out the possibility of early elections, Interior Minister Yiannis Michelakis said in an interview with Sunday's edition of the Proto Thema newspaper.

    The minister explains that in the few months to the end of the year, Greece is obliged to meet the commitments it has undertaken, and above all to ensure primary surplus which will open the way to a fresh and substantial debt relief.

    "This was the commitment Prime Minister Antonis Samaras got from our [European Union] partners and this perspective cannot be missed under any circumstances," Michelakis says, who further recognizes that there are cases where decisions taken by ministers can be enhanced, modified, or corrected.

    [09] Job applications for new public television reach 8044

    The number of job applications submitted for the 2,000 positions in Greece's new public television have reached 8044, it was announced on Sunday.

    The government originally issued a proclamation for 589 positions in a transitional broadcaster, with the deadline for applications expiring on Saturday. At the same time, it issued a proclamation for another 1,453 positions needed to reach the roughly 2,000 positions for the permanent new public broadcaster envisioned to be set up and begin operating in the autumn, after about two months. The deadline for these expires on Friday.

    [10] KKE leader stresses historic 'message' of EAM-ELAS victory over Nazis in Karoutes

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Dimitris Koutsoumbas on Sunday attended a memorial event held in Fokida for the Battle of Karoutes, stressing that "historic memory, knowledge and experience must be kept alive through such events."

    The event commemorated an August 4, 1944 battle when the Greek left-wing resistance forces of EAM-ELAS defeated the Nazi occupation forces.

    Koutsoumbas stressed that the anniversary had a special significance, since it showed that "when the people want to, they can".

    "The message it sends out is that even today, our people united in their own People's Alliance, can defeat the neoNazis, the descendants of the Nazis and the SS and, of course, throw into history's garbage can both Nazism and Fascism and the very capitalist system that breeds and feeds them, overthrow the power of the monopolies," he added.

    In a press release on Sunday, meanwhile, KKE urged people not to remain "bystanders" but give their own answer to the "harsh new measures announced at every opportunity by the government, the EU and the IMF" and noting that these included more wage and pension cuts, dismissals for the public and private sector, "tax-robbery" that even includes foreclosures of primary homes and new reversals in health and welfare.

    [11] Fire brigade: "We did not ask Golden Dawn for help in Markopoulo fire"

    The Fire Department on Saturday issued an announcement in which it strongly denied a claim by the far-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) party that it had asked its members for help in fighting a fire on Friday in the eastern Markopoulo and Porto Rafti regions.

    The Golden Dawn had earlier issued a press release in which it claimed that a fire brigade official had contacted a party deputy and asked for help in fighting the fire.

    The fire department said that only professional and trained volunteer fire fighters were involved in fighting the Markopoulo and Porto Rafti blaze.

    Financial News

    [12] Finmin: No more bailouts without dismissals from public sector

    Greece will not get the next tranches of bailout loans from the IMF and its European Union partners if it does not dismiss staff from the public sector, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras told the Greek newspaper 'Real News' in statements published on Sunday.

    "If the dismissals aren't carried out, if mobility and the suspensions do not go ahead at the times agreed, we won't even get the next tranches [of bailout loans]," he stressed.

    The minister said the layoffs in the public sector did not aim at either a fiscal benefit nor a reduction in the number of public-sector staff but at an upgrade of the public sector.

    "After the 15,000 dismissals there will be 15,000 hirings that will improve the public sector with new staff," he said.

    He also denied having any personal political ambitions and said he took on the role of finance minister out of a sense of duty to the country.

    [13] Greece will very soon be an energy hub, Environment minister says

    Speaking from the city of Chania, Crete island, Minister of the Environment, Energy and Climate Change Yiannis Maniatis on Saturday expressed his belief that Greece will very soon be an energy hub in the Mediterranean region and Europe.

    Maniatis referred to the steps taken so far for the exploitation of hydrocarbons, as well as to the benefits that will accrue for the country and local communities. He spoke about the upgrade of Greece's role in the wider region.

    He added that the contracts with concessionaires in Patras, Ioannina and Katakolo will be tabled in the Greek parliament within September or early October. Also in October, the Parliament will vote on the adoption of the new, stricter environmental directives of the European Union for sea drilling, to prevent accidents in hydrocarbon exploration, Maniatis said.

    The Environment minister responded to those who at times feared that the country's revenue from exploitation of hydrocarbon deposits will go straight to lenders.

    As the parliament has already decided, the minister said, all proceeds from hydrocarbon exploration will not go generally the state budget and as many fear to the country's lenders. Instead, they will be deposited into a special social solidarity fund, and will be primarily used to fund and support the sustainability of the country's social security system.

    To a lesser extent, some funds will be used to support undergraduate and graduate research projects and all research programs by Greek universities and scientists on issues pertaining to exploitation of the country's mineral wealth, Maniatis explained.

    [14] New developmental law increased applications from businesses, ministry reports

    The total assistance applied for by businesses under a new developmental law in the first half of 2013 was 40 percent higher than in the second half of 2012, the development ministry announced on Sunday.

    Specifically, the total budget for investment plans submitted in the first half of 2013 came to 536,014,738.1 euros, up from 372,161,812.1 euros in the second half of 2012.

    It also noted that the comparative figures for applications between the two periods indicated an improvement in the business environment as a result of the 2013 law and were judged very satisfactory given the short 'window' for submitting applications from the law's publication until the final deadline.

    Deputy Development and Competitiveness Minister Notis Marias stressed that the new development law had laid "strong foundations for boosting enterprise. Our aim is to make the country friendly toward businesses and investments and we will continue to make this effort."

    [15] Building permit for 'The Mall' not valid, Council of State finds; proposes 'fix'

    The building permit issued for 'The Mall' Athens shopping centre in Maroussi is not valid, according to a ruling of the Council of State plenum announced on Sunday. At the same time, Greece's supreme administrative court also proposed a legal 'fix' in order to avoid having to tear down the mall in question.

    After convoluted course through the judicial system lasting roughly a decade, the CoS found that the permit allowing construction of the largest shopping mall in southeastern Europe was not, in fact, legal.Under the Constitution, the 75,000 square metre construction should have been preceded by the approval of an environmental impact study that was never carried out. Instead, permission to build was given to Lamda Development, owned by the Latsis group, through a law passed in 2003 that was then contested by local residents in Maroussi.

    The judges found that the 2003 law was unconstitutional, considering that administrative acts like the issue of building permits cannot be established by law as this undermines the rights of citizens to judicial protection. While conceding the right of the relevant ministers to issue building permits by law, the judges stipulated that this should have been done within the framework of Constitutional dictates and using the same specifications that would apply if it was done via administrative act.

    In light of this, the specific permit was judged invalid because there had been no environmental impact study, while the town planning study was inadequate and not properly explained. The judges proposed, however, that an environmental impact study be carried out after the fact in order to 'cure' the legal weakness that has arisen, citing similar European Court of Justice rulings allowing such solutions.

    The CoS plenum's ruling is expected to be published on September 17.

    General News

    [16] German man, 72, arrested as a spy on Chios

    A 72-year-old German national, a retired engineer, has been arrested by Greek authorities for spying on a military facility on the Aegean island of Chios.

    The arrest was carried out on Friday by officers from the Mastichochoria police station when the 72-year-old was seen photographing an army camp on the island on Friday morning. Two cameras and memory cards were found in his possession, containing photographs of the army camp and also a dam and roads surrounding another military installation on the island.

    In a subsequent raid on the suspect's home in the main town of Chios, Greek authorities found three lap-tops, two cameras, 14 memory cards, five USB flash drives, five tourist maps of the island, two cell phones and a pair of binoculars with a built-in camera.

    Based on the evidence collected so far, the German national has been taking photographs of installations, infrastructure and works carried out by the Greek Armed Forces and the Public Power Corporation (PPC), as well as ports, bridges and other features on the island for the past three years. According to testimony given by the suspect, he was taking the photographs on behalf of a group of unidentified Turks that approached him in the summer of 2010 and offered to pay him for the photographs he had taken.

    The 72-year-old told police that he went into retirement in Bonn, Germany about 10 years ago but moved to Turkey after his divorce, where he stayed for six years. Due to problems with his social insurance fund, which did not cover the costs of a health problem he developed, he moved to Chios about four years ago. According to his statements to police, he was approached by two unknown Turks in 2010, who asked him to take the photographs they asked for in exchange for a fee ranging from 500-1500 euros for each mission. The material was then sent via an encoded e-mail that he then deleted, or was picked up by five Turkish nationals that were all unknown to him, either on Chios or in Turkey.

    The police investigation has also revealed that the suspect sent an e-mail last week to an unknown recipient containing information about Greek war ships and military vehicles on Chios. Within this is a brief description of the arrest by Greek authorities of two Greeks and two Turks with a boatload of heavy weaponry, caught between Chios and the island of Oinousses by the Greek coast guard last week.

    The 72-year-old was led before a public prosecutor on Saturday and an investigation is underway by the appropriate services.

    [17] Three arrested for arson by negligence in connection to Markopoulo fire

    Two Greek men, 35 and 57 and an Albanian, 50 were arrested by police on Friday evening in connection with the wildfire in the eastern Attica regions of Markopoulo and Porto Rafti, which burned though houses and a large forest area. Luckily, owing to superhuman efforts by fire fighters, the blaze did not spread to the nearby Kouvaras forest.

    The arrested are the foreman and two workers of a group doing renovation works at the installations of a supermarket (LIDL), where the fire started. Despite warnings issued by the authorities because of the strong winds blowing in the region, the accused used a drill which produced sparks and lit up dry sticks.

    The arrested are facing charges of arson by negligence and were to appear before a public prosecutor on Saturday.

    The fire was since Friday evening put under partial control, with fire fighters managing to prevent it from entering the Kouvaras forest. According to the fire brigade, the blaze has now been contained with only a few spots burning but within already burned area.

    However, because of the strong winds which may rekindle the fire, all ground forces remain on the site, while two water-bombing aircraft and two helicopters are still operating.

    The fire caused damage to two houses and burned yards and gardens in a few others. The full account of damages is not expected until the fire is fully put out.

    [18] Isthmia forest fire subsiding, one home damaged

    A forest fire burning pines and olive groves at Kavo, Isthmia near the village of Kehries in the northern Peloponnese appeared to be subsiding by Sunday evening, the fire brigade reported.

    The fire had burnt its way through tracts of woodland and cultivated land, as well as the attic of one home in the area.

    Forces on the ground were continuing to fight the blaze in an effort to get the fire under control while airborne fire-fighting forces have had to stop flights as darkness falls.

    The fire started at 2:20 p.m. on Sunday in the Panorama location in Kavo, Isthmia and posed a serious risk to houses built among the trees and cultivated land.

    Strong fire-fighting forces were sent to tackle the blaze, including 20 manned fire engines, municipality water trucks, groups of volunteers and ordinary citizens. Two water-bombing Canadair aircraft were taking part in the fire-fighting effort from the air, as well as a fire-fighting helicopter.

    Efforts to control the blaze were hampered by strong winds, while the operation is being coordinated by the Fire Brigade's Inspector for Southern Greece Lieut. Gen. Dimosthenis Kavetsos and Peloponnese Regional Fire Brigade Services Chief Constantinos Giovas.

    [19] Rafina archaeological dig to get new lease of life

    An archaeological dig uncovering Roman-era remains in Rafina, a coastal resort and port in eastern Attica, has secured its inclusion in a five-year programme starting in 2013 that will allow excavation work to be resumed and completed, archaeologists at Athens University announced on Sunday.

    The project recently received the approval of the Central Archaeological Council and the aim is to eventually turn over the completed excavation - now abandoned - to the local community in Rafina.

    The Roman remains on the site are believed to be attached to a wealth of other structures, at several different levels and eras of construction, including baths with surviving tiled floors, a cryptoporticus and tank, a pottery kiln and an ancient Roman agricultural villa and attached facilities for processing agricultural produce from its estate.

    [20] Off-duty officer shot in Santorini street fight admitted to hospital

    A 29-year-old off-duty police officer shot in the leg during a street fight with a civilian on the Aegean island of Santorini was admitted to Iraklio University Hospital in Crete on Sunday.

    The incident occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning when two police officers, aged 25 and 29 years old, were returning from a night out on the island of Santorini. The two officers, both of whom had been detached from the Thessaloniki police force to Santorini for the summer, were in civilian clothes at the time.

    While traversing a central road in the town of Fyra on the island, they got into an argument with two civilians that was initially verbal, with neither officer stating that they were in the police force, even when the argument escalated and one of the two civilians physically assaulted one of them.

    During the fight that ensued, one of the assailants, 39, threatened the two police officers with a telescopic baton, at which time the two officers revealed their identity. This, however, prompted the second man, 40, to draw a gun and shoot three times, injuring the 29-year-old officer in the calf.

    According to authorities on Santorini, the 40-year-old suspect belongs to a family well known to police in connection with various past offences.

    The injured officer was initially taken to the Santorini health centre and then transported to Iraklio hospital, where doctors say he is not considered at risk.

    Three bullets were retrieved from the scene and the 39-year-old has been arrested, while the 40-year-old suspect is being sought. Both men face criminal charges for attempted homicide and inflicting grievous bodily harm.

    By order of Greek Police headquarters, both officers involved in the incident have been placed on suspension while the Thera police station on the island conducts an investigation.

    [21] Suspects charged in connection with large Greek-Albanian drug-trafficking ring

    Five suspects considered to be 'core' members of an extensive drug-trafficking outfit have been charged with being members of a criminal organisation. The remainder of the 13 suspects in custody were charged with drug dealing.

    All 13 were brought before an Iraklio prosecutor on Saturday morning under stringent security measures and the process was not completed until late at night due to the extremely hefty case file extending over some 5,500 pages. All the suspects were given until next week in order to prepare their testimony.

    The gang's activities were uncovered during a police operation on Friday, in which 13 people were taken into custody, 12 Greek nationals and one Albanian. The gang appears to have transported large quantities of drugs into Greece from Albania, which were then sold on Crete.

    A further 42 suspects are also included in the case file, of which three are currently in custody pending trial for a drug bust involving 16 kilos of hashish on June 16.

    During the investigation, police also confiscated approximately one kilos of cannabis and smaller quantities of other drugs, four fire arms, 35 cell phones, SIM cards and bank books, in addition to the sum of 8,685 euros representing proceeds of drug sales and five vehicles, three trucks and two cars.

    In the past four months, the group was active in the prefecture of Iraklio and surrounding prefectures and, according to police, had a fully organised hierarchical structure with discrete roles for its members. The group trafficked about a kilo of hashish a day, based on evidence from phone conversations, with the drugs brought into Greece from Albania.

    [22] Escaped Grevena prison inmate, 25, caught in Athens

    A 25-year-old escaped convict that failed to return to Grevena Prison from furlough was captured in the Athens district of Ilioupolis, accompanied by a 17-year-old girl. The two were arrested for insubordination. The arrest was made on Saturday when police flagged down a car the two were driving for a routine check but they refused to comply, prompting police to give chase.

    The 25-year-old had been missing since April 2012 when he failed to return from an 11-day furlough. He was serving a 20-year sentence for manslaughter and rape and was also being sought for kidnapping a minor.

    [23] Halkidiki nightclub shut down 48 hours for tax offences

    The finance ministry's financial crime squad SDOE ordered that a nightclub in the tourist resort of Halkidiki in northern Greece be shut down for 48 hours over a series of tax offences. The SDOE order was issued on Saturday after an inspection and constitutes the first application of new penalties for tax offenders designed to stamp out tax evasion.

    Under the law, any repeat offence by the same establishment will result in its closure for a month and third-time offenders will be closed for up to six months.

    [24] Police station chief suspended for not enforcing nightclub shutdown order

    A police station chief in Kassandria, Halkidiki has been suspended from duty for failing to enforce an order for the 48-hour closure of a nightclub for tax offences, ANA-MPA sources said on Sunday.

    The finance ministry financial crime squad SDOE had ordered that the nightclub should be shut for 48 hours after an inspection on Saturday revealed numerous tax offences. In spite of this, the Kallithea nightclub opened as usual on Saturday night, in violation of the law, which the Kassandria police station was in charge of enforcing.

    [25] Abandoned truck with contraband cigarettes found in Drama

    A truck with Bulgarian license plates carrying 60,000 packs of contraband cigarettes was located by police on Friday evening in a forest road in Drama, near the Greek-Bulgarian border.

    Acting on information, the police located the abandoned and uninsured truck and found the large quantity of the quantity of contraband cigarettes carefully concealed. The likely loss to the Greek state would exceed 200,000 euros.

    Weather forecast

    [26] Cooler on Monday

    Generally fair weather and slightly lower temperatures are forecast on Monday, especially in the east of the country. Winds from mainly northerly directions, ranging between 3-8 Beaufort. Temperatures will range from 18C to 36C. Sunny in Athens, with temperatures from 26C to 34C. Sunny in Thessaloniki, with temperatures from 23C to 34C.

    [27] The Sunday edition of Athens newspapers at a glance

    AVGHI: "Mr. Samaras, here is your signature - Promises to the troika for additional measures-layoffs"

    ETHNOS: "Cold war over the debt haircut - United States and IMF pressure Europe to 'cut' here and now"

    KATHIMERINI: "Closure, confiscation for those that owe"

    KYRIAKATIKI DIMOKRATIA: "The 'secret' about Akis [Tsohatzopoulos, former defence minister]"

    KYRIAKATIKI ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Ten mistakes of the troika are destroying the country"

    KYRIAKATIKOS RIZOSPASTIS: "The people can win by charting their own course"

    LOGOS: "Real estate market is sinking"

    NIKI TIS DIMOKRATIAS: "These are the pass marks for 621 universities-technical colleges"

    PROTO THEMA: "Auctions coming for 15,000 homes - the secret plan for overdue loans"

    REAL NEWS: "Final blow to salaries-bonuses - the troika's hidden agenda for the private sector"

    TO PARON: "The final moment - before they lead us to uncontrollable situations"

    TO VIMA: "From utopia to...realism. Ioannis Dragasakis announces SYRIZA's great turning point"

    TYPOS TIS KYRIAKIS: "Abolition of contributions for first 400 euros of salary"

    VRADYNI: "Pensions: buying 'fake' years - When it makes sense to have extra insurance years acknowledged"

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