Hunt for missing 7 continues

Government officials yesterday were still trying to locate seven Greeks missing since devastating tsunamis hit southern Asia on Boxing Day, resulting in over 124,000 deaths so far. Foreign Ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos said on New Year’s Day that seven Greeks were still among almost 11,000 foreigners officially missing in the disaster zone. Until New Year’s Eve, it was thought that nine had been missing. The last Greek to be located was Theodoros Sgouros, a resident of Switzerland, who contacted his family on December 31. After obtaining permission from the Authority for the Protection of Personal Data (APPD), the ministry released the names of the remaining seven, hoping it might help in the process to track them down. They were listed as Emmanuella Schaeffer-Hatzidaki, a permanent overseas resident; her two daughters, Elli-Katerina and Patricia-Lucy; Anna Maja Espo-Hatzialexiou, a Finnish national married to a Greek citizen; Mariana Pakou and Panayiotis Pavlidis, both residents of Germany; and Constantinos Priotakis, a merchant seaman. Koumoutsakos added that there had been no report of a Greek being among almost 500 foreigners known to have been killed so far. Meanwhile, Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis said on New Year’s Eve that she had spoken to some of her European counterparts to propose that each capital take on a construction project in the afflicted areas. «Athens and other great European capitals are in a position to quickly build institutions such as schools and orphanages to host some of the thousands of suffering children,» she said.