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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-05-20

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] 67th anniversary of Crete Battle
  • [02] Sunflower oil pulled for testing

  • [01] 67th anniversary of Crete Battle

    Celebrations marking the 67th anniversary of the Battle of Crete commenced on Sunday in Hania, due to culminate the following Sunday, May 25, with a doxology at the city cathedral and a memorial service. A total of 18 central and 5 parallel events - memorial services, wreath laying ceremonies and cultural events - will take place in this year's celebrations, held with the customary participation of war veterans from Greece, Australia, New Zealand and Britain. The Battle of Crete began on the morning of May 20, 1941 when German forces launched an unprecedented airborne invasion of Crete, code-named "Merkur". The operation was successful in that it wrested control of the island from Allied forces, although the victory was so costly in terms of paratrooper casualties that the Wehrmacht never again attempted a major airborne operation.

    The stiff resistance by ANZAC troops and local Cretans is also credited, by many historians, with delaying the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of a veteran of the Battle of Crete

    [02] Sunflower oil pulled for testing

    Greek authorities have ordered all sunflower oil imported into the country since the start of 2008 to be pulled from market shelves for testing, the government said on Tuesday. Announcing the decision after a meeting of the inner cabinet, Development Minister Christos Folias also commented on the resignation earlier the same day of Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) President Evangelos Lazos, stressing that the latter was "not a scape goat".

    "Crisis matters require rapid action and instantaneous communication. To accelerate the pace and deal effectively with the issue, Mr Lazos' resignation was accepted," the minister said and publicly thanked Lazos for his contribution.

    An announcement issued by EFET's new acting president Antonis Zabelas, meanwhile, said the batches of sunflower oil would be tested to determine whether any other quantities mixed with mineral oil had managed to slip through initial testing at customs, when they were first imported into the country.

    According to Zabelas, the decision to pull all recent imports was made because "we cannot check whether a new quantity of sunflower oil containing mineral oil has entered the Greek market, apart from those already detected."

    He added that the authority was acting on a report sent by the General Chemical Laboratory of the State regarding the adulterated cooking oil.

    Development ministry general secretary Yiannis Economou, meanwhile, noted that the tainted sunflower oil had not been found just in Greece but in another eight countries in the European Union as well and he also assured consumers that the problem oil found so far, while contravening market regulations, was not dangerous to health.

    Folias, on his part, stressed that the government did not "take shortcuts" on matters of principle or health and had therefore decided to withdraw all quantities of oil on the market, in spite of the assurances given by both the EU and Greek authorities.

    The minister additionally stressed that Greek authorities had carried out sample testing that detected the tainted sunflower oil on their own initiative, leading to its seizure and withdrawal.

    EFET's President Evangelos Lazos resigned his post on Tuesday, with the agency's vice-president Antonis Zabelas taking over as acting president. EFET's responsibility is to coordinate the enforcement of food safety legislation in Greece.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photograph of Development Minister Christos Folias.

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