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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-07-22

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Marfin executives found guilty for 2010 fire deaths during protests
  • [02] Reigning champion Gianniotis wins men's 10-km Open Water Swimming event in Barcelona
  • [03] Budget deficit down sharply in first half 2013

  • [01] Marfin executives found guilty for 2010 fire deaths during protests

    mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:"Courier New";color:#0F1419; ANA-MPA -- An Athens court on Monday convicted three of four Marfin managers, finding them responsible for the deaths of three employees and injuries sustained by 21 others in a fire set in the bank's Stadiou Street branch in May 2010, during violent anti-austerity protests.

    mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:"Courier New";color:#0F1419;

    mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:"Courier New";color:#0F1419; Guilty verdicts were passed for Marfin CEO Konstantinos Vasilakopoulos, branch manager Anna Vakalopoulou and the head of building safety Emmanouil Velonakis but acquited the deputy branch manager Anastasia Koukou.

    mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:"Courier New";color:#0F1419;

    mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:"Courier New";color:#0F1419; The victims, two women and a man, died from asphyxiation after the bank's storefront windows were smashed and firebombs tossed inside. Fire-fighters located the bodies of the three bank employees on the third floor. A total of eight people had been trapped in the flames and smoke.mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:

    mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Tahoma;color:#0F1419;

    mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:"Courier New";color:#0F1419; The court found that the bank's management had failed to ensure adequate fire safety measures were taken, given that the Stadiou bank branch was a frequent target of arsonist attacks, and should have promptly evacuated the employees as a precaution during the protests, as other banks in the area had done.

    mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Tahoma;color:#0F1419;

    mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:"Courier New";color:#0F1419; The court handed down prison sentences of 22 years for the first two defendants and five years, one month for Vakalopoulou, on a charge of manslaughter through negligence of three employees, including a pregnant woman, and injuries sustained by another 21. It admitted no extenuating circumstances for the three defendants, though it has suspended the sentences pending appeal on condition that the first two defendants each post bail of 30,000 euros within 40 days.

    mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Tahoma;color:#0F1419;

    mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:"Courier New";color:#0F1419; Adopting the public prosecutor's recommendation, the court will send copies of the case file to the first-instance public prosecutors' office to investigate whether other bank executives are responsible for the tragic incident in 2010.

    mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:"Courier New";color:#0F1419;

    (File photo soon after the arson shows people placing flowers at the site of the burnt down branch of Marfin in May 2010.)mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:

    [02] Reigning champion Gianniotis wins men's 10-km Open Water Swimming event in Barcelona

    ANA-MPA -- "Unbelievable, but true." With these words reigning world champion Spyros Gianniotis described his victory in the 10-km Open Water Swimming world championship event held in Barcelona on Monday.

    Gianniotis, who defended the title he had won in the FINA Swimming World Championships in Shanghai two years ago, noted that the race had come on a good day for him. "It was a crazy race, especially in the last 2.5 km before the finishing line. I used both mind and soul, realizing what I had lost in last year's Olympics. I dedicate my success to my coach (Nikos Gemelos), who is always next to me, my parents and of course to all the Greek people. What I wanted to do last year, I was finally able to do a year later," the 33-year-old champion said soon after finishing the race.

    The leading Greek athlete won his fifth medal in the last four swimming championship events, leaving behind Germany's Thomas Lurz and Tunisia's Oussama Mellouli.

    "By winning the gold medal, Spyros Gianniotis proved once again that he is the world champion in his sport," Deputy Culture and Sports Minister Yiannis Andrianos said, commenting on Gianniotis' victory in Barcelona's 2013 15th FINA World Championships.

    "It is a great honour for Greek sports, the fact that such a great athlete keeps our flag high in every event he participates. All Greeks are thankful that he continues to make us proud and we wish him health and more successes," the deputy minister concluded.

    [03] Budget deficit down sharply in first half 2013

    The Greek state budget deficit fell to 4.991 billion euros in the first six months of 2013, from 12.477 billion euros in the same period last year and down from a budget target for a deficit of 7.194 billion euros, the finance ministry said on Monday.

    In a report, the ministry said that the budget's primary deficit was 1.511 billion euros, in the January-June period, down significantly from a primary deficit of 3.316 billion euros last year and a budget target for a shortfall of 3.877 billion euros..

    The finance ministry said that state budget net revenues totaled 22.572 billion euros in the six-month period, down 3.6 pct from budget tagets, while net revenues of the regular budget was 20.842 billion euros, down 4.1 pct from targets.

    The report said that income tax proceeds were down by 39.1 pct compared with budget targets in June, because of an extension given to deadlines for tax income statements. Direct tax proceeds were down 39.2 pct, while consumption taxes fell short by 18.9 pct. Non-regular revenues fell 64.7 pct reflecting a delay in collecting a special tax on financial institutions and a 3.0 pct decline in VAT proceeds. On the other hand, tax collection surpassed budget targets in property taxes (+17.5 pct) in June.

    The finance ministry said that state budget spending totaled 27.564 billion euros, down by 3.053 billion euros compared with budget targets. Regular budget spending totaled 25.792 billion euros, down by 1.975 billion euros compared with budget targets. Regular budget spending was down by 23.3 pct compared with 2012, reflecting an 11.5 pct fall in primary spending and a 62 pct drop in interest payments.


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