Tourist critical after fight

A Dutch tourist was in critical condition at an Iraklion hospital yesterday after being stabbed in the stomach as he tried to break up a fight in Crete’s rowdy tourist resort of Malia, which has witnessed numerous offenses and arrests this summer. The 49-year-old man, who was not named, had tried to intervene in an argument between two tourists and four locals at one of the resort’s hotels. Police said the trouble began when another Dutch tourist and a Moroccan man entered a bar in a different hotel and began to cause trouble. They were asked to leave by the barman but a fight ensued. The two visitors then went to their hotel but the barman called his boss, a 52-year-old man, who arrived with his 22-year-old son and 28-year-old nephew. The four men, armed with planks of wood, went to the tourists’ hotel and found the two men in the bar. Another fight ensued between the six men, and the 22-year-old son of the hotel owner is alleged to have stabbed the 49-year-old Dutch tourist when he intervened. All six men have been arrested. The incident comes less than three weeks after an attack on an Australian tourist by four nightclub employees on Myconos resulted in the 20-year-old’s death. Dozens of tourists have been arrested in Malia this summer, mostly for alcohol or drug offenses and a number of people have been seriously injured in alcohol-related incidents. Police said yesterday that they feel the situation has improved over the last two weeks due to more organized policing and the fact that there are fewer young tourists coming to the resort at this time of year. Officers said that the stabbing of the Dutch tourist was «an isolated incident.» «We have received reinforcements from other units in the Iraklion area for the summer months and we have been conducting more intensive patrols,» said an officer who preferred to remain anonymous. «On Monday, we arrested eight British tourists who were riding quad bikes while they were drunk.»