Publisher to go on trial
Businessman Giorgos Kouris, 77, publisher of Avriani newspaper and owner of now-defunct Alter TV, was arrested on Tuesday in connection to unpaid debts to the state of 680,000 euros for which he is to be tried tomorrow. The businessman was released on bail in May last year after being arrested in connection with a 1.5-million-euro debt owed by Alter. His son Andreas, the former vice president of Alter channel, was also charged in connection with that case.
Deputy Health Minister Zeta Makri yesterday sent out a circular to local authorities across the country, urging them to redouble efforts to enforce a crackdown on smoking in public places. A law imposing restrictions on smoking in restaurants, cafes and other enclosed public places came into force in September 2010 but is rarely enforced. In the circular, Makri underlined the need for local authorities to intensify checks on smoking in closed public spaces with the aim of protecting people’s health.
German President Joachim Gauck is to pay an official visit to Greece on March 5 to 7, it was announced yesterday. It will be the first such visit to Athens by a German president since 2006. During his visit, Gauck will honor Second World War victims with Greek President Karolos Papoulias. Papoulias had invited Gauck to visit Greece when the Greek president was in Berlin last January.
Interior Minister Yiannis Michelakis said yesterday that he would not give in to those who want to “create a climate of fear and turmoil” after his political office in central Athens was targeted by arsonists overnight. An explosion occurred outside the Amerikis Street office at 11.25 p.m. on Tuesday. Nobody was injured in the blast, which was caused by a device that contained cooking gas canisters. “Democracy cannot be terrorized,” said Michelakis.
A 52-year-old butcher from Iraklio, Crete, was given a life sentence yesterday for the murder of two men in the Profitis Ilias area in June 2012. He was found guilty of shooting to death Priamos Xydakis, aged 34, and Manolis Stavroulakis, 63. One of the butcher’s brothers was given a 12-year sentence for attempting to murder Yiannis Xydakis, the father of Priamos. The two convicted men had claimed they were fired upon in a dispute with their two victims but authorities were not able to find any evidence of this.