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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-05-29

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Meeting on privatisations at finance ministry
  • [02] Eight-year-old hospitalised with gunshot wound
  • [03] Handball Final Four postponed

  • [01] Meeting on privatisations at finance ministry

    A lengthy meeting to discuss the privatisation programme announced by the government was held at the finance ministry on Saturday, to prepare for next week's cabinet meeting where final decisions on the issue will be made.

    Taking part in the meeting were Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou, Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Tina Birbili, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Dimitris Reppas and Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos.

    Among the plans examined was the sale of shares in the Athens water and drainage company EYDAP, the sale of a minority share of TRAINOSE with the state retaining a 51 percent majority, as well as concession agreements for airports, ports, logistics centres, highways, the sale of casinos and the exploitation of state real estate.

    The government hopes that the programme will yield revenue of at least one billion euros this year.

    In addition to the sale of state companies, the privatisation programme also envisages sales of shares, seeking out strategic investors, and contracts leasing public property for specific periods of time.

    [02] Eight-year-old hospitalised with gunshot wound

    An eight-year-old girl was admitted to Athens' children's hospital late on Friday with a gunshot injury to the head, sustained while playing outside her home in the Athens district of Zefyri.

    The girl was taken to hospital by her step-father, where doctors discovered the wound on the left side of her head and performed surgery. Her condition was described as stable.

    The girl's family said that she was playing outside when she suddenly fell down. They ran to her and discovered the injury to her head. At the hospital, doctors ascertained that the wound was caused by a shell from a firearm.

    An inquiry has been launched by the West Attica Security Police, which is investigating to find where the shot was fired from.

    [03] Handball Final Four postponed

    The Final Four games in the men's handball cup were postponed indefinitely by Greek authorities on Saturday, after scenes of runaway violence between rival supporters of AEK, Athens and PAOK, Thessaloniki in Lamia. The two sides had been scheduled to play a semi-final in the city later on Saturday.

    In an announcement, Sports General Secretary Panagiotis Bitsaksis said that all four games in the final had been indefinitely postoned at the recommendation of the Greek Police because of the violent incidents, that continued with even greater intensity at the city's indoor stadium.

    Bitsaksis said that he had invited the board of the Handball Federation to his office on Monday to discuss the issue and the measures that need to be taken.

    According to reports coming in on Saturday evening, the city was still in an uproar as police pursued some 200 AEK supporters through the streets after the incidents at Lamia's indoor stadium.

    A further nine people, among them a police officer, were taken to Lamia hospital with injuries caused by items thrown at the stadium. Six PAOK supporters and 10 AEK supporters were arrested and this made the climate even more explosive, with the enraged hooligans running rampage through a local supermarket, from which they looted food.

    The incidents have caused extensive damage to the city's indoor stadium, where the rival team supporters initially attacked each other using flares, then started ripping up the seats and throwing them at each other. A group also broke into the stadium toilets and smashed up the tiles to use as missiles, causing the situation to spin even further out of control and prompting authorities to evacuate the stadium and cancel the games.

    The incidents had begun early on Saturday morning, while the city's scant police force had proved unable to contain the hundreds of rival supporters that had poured into Lamia, so that an early morning brawl that left two injured and needing hospitalisation had escalated into an all-out 'war' by later the same day.

    Local residents going about their business were forced to look on in horror as rival hooligans threw petrol bombs, kiosks in the centre of the city went up in flames and streets were choked with tear gas and flash grenades used by embattled police to disperse the combatants.

    Another seven people had to be taken to hospital, six of them team supporters injured in the fray and one passer-by that was overcome by acute discomfort because of the tear gas. According to doctors, all the injuries are minor.

    During the incidents at around 8:00 on Saturday morning, some 100 supporters of PAOK, Thessaloniki had descended on a clubhouse for Athens-based AEK supporters in central Lamia, attacking two people that were there with knives and setting it on fire.

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