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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-08-21

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM confers with Development Minister
  • [02] Papandreou to visit Ilia fireravaged victims
  • [03] Industrialist's abductors nabbed

  • [01] PM confers with Development Minister

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis met Thursday with development minister Christos Folias to discuss upcoming contacts with the social partners and producer classes, and the situation in the liquid fuels sector.

    Folias told reporters afterwards that the government was closely monitoring the fuel market on a daily basis, adding that its efforts for streamlining the fuel market were constant and steadfast.

    The minister also welcomed the decision by gas station owners on the island of Crete to suspend strikes in protest of a ministry-imposed ceiling on fuel prices in several parts of the country where excessive prices were ascertained as a "nature" decision, adding that "we all can contribute in the direction of normalization of the fuel market".

    He noted that "we still have a long way to go", but added that with everyone's contribution and involvement, a solution would be found and "we will move in the right direction and, mainly, we will do the best possible for the Greek consumer".

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of prime minister Costas Karamanlis

    [02] Papandreou to visit Ilia fireravaged victims

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou will visit the prefecture of Ilia, in the western Peloponnese, on Thursday, keeping a promise to wildfire victims last year regarding economic aid of 1.2 million euros, an amount corresponding to a third of the election contribution to PASOK from the state budget, party spokesman George Papaconstantinou said on Wednesday.

    PASOK is seeking a practical way of distributing the amount so as to serve transparency and the needs of the wildfire sufferers, the spokesman said.

    This move is also linked to a reconstruction plan for wildfire-stricken regions that PASOK tabled in the form of a bill and that will be discussed by Parliament's second summer session committee, according to Papaconstantinou, who added that the party is expecting the government to adopt this plan.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou

    [03] Industrialist's abductors nabbed

    Greece's most wanted criminal Vassilis Paleokostas, the convict who escaped a high-security prison in June 2006 in a Hollywood-style operation by helicopter, was apprehended late Wednesday night in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, and has been named by police as the mastermind of the abduction two months ago of then Federation of Industries of Northern Greece (SBBE) president and Alumil aluminum industry CEO George Mylonas outside Thessaloniki.

    Police announced that Paleokostas was arrested in a house in the area of Souroti, together with an accomplice. Two other members of the kidnapping ring were arrested earlier Wednesday in Thessaloniki and in Chania, on the island of Crete, earlier in the day, while a fourth ring member was already in prison serving time for other crimes.

    The accomplice arrested with Paleokostas in Thessaloniki has a police record in connection with bank robberies.

    Thessaloniki police officials were due to make more detailed announcements on Thursday.

    A fifth member of the Paleokostas gang, an escaped convict believed to be one of the organizers of the helicopter escape by Vassilis Paleokostas, was also apprehended by police on Monday morning in Agrinio, central eastern Greece.

    Vassilis Paleokostas and an Albanian convict Alket Rizaj were spirited away by helicopter on June 4, 2006 from the courtyard of Korydallos prison near Piraeus, in a spectacular operation masterminded by Paleokostas' brother Nikos, a fugitive from justice. After picking up the two at Korydallos jail, the helicopter dropped them off near a cemetery not far from the prison. The two escaped convicts then drove off on motorcycles, according to witnesses. Police said at the time that the two prisoners escaped with the help of two accomplices who had hired the sight-seeing helicopter from the southern coastal suburb of Aghios Kosmas, and then threatened the helicopter's pilot with a pistol and a hand grenade, forcing him to land in the prison yard before taking the two inmates.

    The 27-year-old escaped convict arrested on Monday had also been incarcerated at Korydallos prison before he escaped. Rizaj was captured three months after the escape in the coastal village of Prodromos in Viotia prefecture, while fugitive Nikos Paleokostas was arrested a few weeks afterwards near Livadia, also in Viotia prefecture, after years of eluding police capture.

    According to initial reports, police believe Vassilis Paleokostas to be behind the abduction of SBBE president Mylonas by unidentified gunmen shortly before midnight on June 9 as he was returning to his home in the Panorama residential district outside Thessaloniki, and was released two weeks later after an unspecified ransom was paid by his family.

    Mylonas, 49, the owner, president and CEO of the Athens-listed Alumil aluminum constructions industry and the Alumil Group of companies, with major investments in Greece and abroad, resigned from the helm of SBBE a few days after his release.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of escaped convict Vassilis Paleokostas, who was apprehended in northern Greece on June 20 and is believed to have masterminded the June 2008 abduction of Northern Greece Industry Federation chief George Mylonas.


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