NEWS

In Brief

SCHOOLGIRL DEATH

Father charged with premeditated murder The father of a 13-year-old girl – found stabbed to death in her home in Pelasgia, near Lamia, at the end of last month – was charged with premeditated murder on Friday by a Lamia prosecutor after his fingerprints were found on the kitchen knife allegedly used in the killing. Christos Voulgarakis, 35, had been missing since the discovery of his daughter Vasso on Saturday until he handed himself in to police on Thursday, claiming to have been kidnapped by the same unidentified assailants on whom he blamed the murder. EASTER INJURIES Dangerous firecrackers In the two most serious cases of people injured by fireworks over the Easter weekend, 19-year-old Ilias Stavropoulos lost four fingers at Amfithea, Messinia, in the southwestern Peloponnese when a homemade firecracker blew up in his right hand and Anastasios Tsakirios, 54, lost an eye to another homemade firecracker at Platanos on the island of Leros. Three Cretan teenagers were being treated for burns on Sunday after their clothes caught fire shortly after midnight on Saturday during the traditional Easter ceremony of setting fire to an effigy of Jesus’s traitorous disciple, Judas, at Nerokouro – a village near Hania. Hoteliers pressurized Hoteliers on Rhodes and other popular summer holiday destinations in Greece came under pressure to drop their prices this weekend when German tour operators instigated a stream of «recommendations» from foreign operators who claim it will take reductions of up to 30 percent to persuade tourists to return to Greece after the recent heart-related virus scare. April bookings were down 30 percent from last year and May bookings are expected to be down by 20 percent, according to hoteliers in Rhodes. Salonica party Reports broadcast yesterday on television and radio channels, stating that 40 people had suffered stomach pains, dehydration and other symptoms of food poisoning after eating food served up during Sunday’s Easter feast organized by the municipality of Thessaloniki, were later refuted by municipal authorities who said food safety officials attending the event had not reported any such cases. Thousands of people attended the beachside feast. The food had been prepared by a private company. – Prime Minister Costas Simitis to meet separately with Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos.