Two held for down­town mur­der

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Two Afghan mi­grants were ar­rested yes­ter­day in con­nec­tion to the at­tack ear­lier this month on 44year-old Mano­lis Kan­taris, who was mur­dered in cen­tral Athens as he was walk­ing to­ward his car so he could take his preg­nant wife to the ma­ter­nity ward.

Po­lice said that they ar­rested two of the three sus­pects al­leged to have con­ducted the predawn at­tack. The Afghans are aged 20 and 27. The older man had re­cently served a brief jail sen­tence for deal­ing in hashish. He was re­leased on April 5.

Two CCTV cam­eras at the scene of the crime, on Tri­tis Septemvriou Street, gave po­lice some ini­tial leads but it seems they were able to trace the sus­pects af­ter they al­legedly sold the video cam­era they had stolen from Kan­taris in Mona­s­ti­raki for 120 eu­ros. The two men, who were not named, were ar­rest- ed af­ter po­lice raided an aban­doned build­ing on Me­nan­drou Street in the city cen­ter. A third man, thought to be a Pak­istani, is be­ing sought.

Kan­taris’s mur­der sparked protests by res­i­dents, which were hi­jacked by right-wing ex­trem­ists who at­tacked sev­eral im­mi­grants. One mi­grant was killed in as-yet-un­con­firmed cir­cum­stances. The fall­out from the 44-year-old’s stab­bing im­me­di­ately prompted calls for greater polic­ing in cen­tral Athens and a crack­down on il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion.

The Cit­i­zens’ Pro­tec­tion Min­istry an­nounced yes­ter­day the cre­ation of two mi­grant re­cep­tion cen­ters in Attica (Elliniko and Amyg­daleza) and three hold­ing cen­ters (Elliniko, Petrou Ralli Street and Aspropy­r­gos). An­other seven hold­ing cen­ters are be­ing built in other parts of the coun­try, the min­istry said.

Of­fi­cials in Athens fear that prob­lems con­nected to il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion, such as drug deal­ing, pros­ti­tu­tion and other crimes, are jeop­ar­diz­ing the city’s hopes of at­tract­ing more tourists fol­low­ing a cou­ple of fal­low years for those in­volved in the in­dus­try.

In a bid to at­tract vis­i­tors, the City of Athens said yes­ter­day that it is cre­at­ing the Athens City Pass, which will give tourists ac­cess to all pub­lic trans­port and sites at a pref­er­en­tial rate. Two new in­for­ma­tion points will be cre­ated in the city cen­ter and the mu­nic­i­pal­ity will seek to ex­pand its range of “Breath­tak­ing Athens” sou­venirs.

There are also plans to cre­ate the Athens Con­ven­tion Bu­reau to at­tract more con­fer­ences to the Greek cap­i­tal, which Mayor Gior­gos Kami­nis said is seek­ing to pro­mote it­self as a city break des­ti­na­tion.

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