Schools campaign to start
Less than two weeks after issuing a circular that urged local authorities to redouble their efforts to enforce a crackdown on smoking in public places, Deputy Health Minister Zeta Makri yesterday heralded a joint initiative with Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis aimed at discouraging smoking, particularly among youngsters. The initiative foresees the launch of an awareness campaign at schools from March as well as the mobilization of doctors and pharmacists to hold public awareness-raising events on a voluntary basis.
The appeal of nine people convicted in connection to the sinking of the Sea Diamond off Santorini six years ago began in a Piraeus court yesterday but was quickly adjourned for February 13. Nine of 13 people who stood trial over the 2007 sinking, in which two French tourists died, were convicted in August. The captain of the Louis Hellenic Cruise Lines vessel, which struck a reef near the island’s Athinios port in April 2007, was sentenced to 12 years and two months and ordered to pay a fine of 8,000 euros. The first mate and the shipowner’s designated personnel ashore were each sentenced to eight years, the chief engineer received 28 months, the navigator received two years and 10 months, the officer in charge of safety procedures got six months and a 600-euro fine, the surveyor received a 15-month jail sentence, while two others received two years each.
The trial of New Democracy MP Gerasimos Giakoumatos’s wife and brother has been postponed until February 11. The two were arrested in connection to the family business, a retirement home in the northern Athens suburb of Neo Psychico. The lawmaker’s brother was the managing director, while his wife was the home’s president. Their lawyer, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, said yesterday that they should not have been arrested and that there had been unfair attempts to embroil the lawmakers in the case. “There have been no offenses and that will proved along the way,” he said.
Debts to the state.
The former president and managing director of Greek casual wear retailer Sprider Stores faced a prosecutor in Thessaloniki yesterday in connection with debts to the state in excess of 1.15 million euros. Nikolaos Varsamis, 51, is accused of owing the amount in outstanding contributions to the Social Security Foundation (IKA). Sprider Stores, which was founded in Athens in 1971 and was listed on the Athens bourse in 2004, filed for bankruptcy last year, leaving more than 800 employees jobless.