NEWS

In Brief

DOUBLE MURDER

Astrologist and business partner shot dead in Halandri office A 48-year-old astrologist and a 38-year-old woman with whom he ran a company importing organic cosmetics were shot dead at their office in the northeastern Athens suburb of Halandri, police said yesterday. The bodies of Miltiades Moutafis and Paraskevi Gezou were found by the woman’s 18-year-old son. Officers said the pair had been shot several times with an automatic weapon. STRIKE ANNOUNCED GSEE sets date for April 2 Greece’s largest private sector union, the Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE), announced yesterday a 24-hour strike for Thursday, April 2, demanding that the government do more to protect jobs and prevent dismissals. The Civil Servants’ Union, ADEDY, did not say whether it will take part in the action but it is expected to join the strike. Blackmail trial The trial prompted by allegations made by the owner of the SOAS ferry firm Fotis Manousis that he bribed former Aegean Minister Aristoteles Pavlidis continued yesterday with an alleged associate of the New Democracy politician telling a court in Athens that he did not know who deposited 7,500 euros in his bank account in January 2007. Tsabikos Triomatis, who Manousis claims is a Rhodes-based associate of Pavlidis, said that he received a call from a stranger who told him that the money had been deposited but that a few days later he was asked to return the cash. Manousis claims he paid the money into Triomatis’s account on instructions from Pavlidis’s assistant, Panayiotis Zachariou, who is on trial for blackmail. Manousis claims he paid Pavlidis 1 million euros a year to secure state subsidies for routes to remote islands. Roma dispute The legal adviser to the City of Athens yesterday rebuffed a complaint made to a European court by an Athens-based rights group regarding the alleged eviction of hundreds of Roma from a settlement in Votanikos in June 2007. Lawyer Katerina Marketaki told Kathimerini that a municipal team had simply cleared the area of rubble and garbage and have since helped clean the settlement and provide Roma children with vaccinations. Marketaki also disputed claims that municipal authorities failed to try and rehouse the Roma, saying that City Hall had asked the Interior Ministry to take action. ATM lifted Unidentified thieves early yesterday hacked a bank’s ATM machine out of the entrance to the city hall of Serres, in northern Greece. Police believe that the cash machine was stolen by the same robbers who tried to steal an ATM from the entrance to the city’s general hospital earlier this week. In the earlier attempt, the robbers were spotted trying to load the machine onto a truck by passersby and fled. Fatal plunge Police in Athens yesterday were seeking to determine whether the death of an employee of the general secretariat for commerce, who suffered a five-story fall, was accidental or suicide. The unidentified employee reportedly fell from the fifth floor of the staircase inside the Development Ministry building in central Kaningos Square. Ministry staff told police that the victim had been discharged from a psychiatric clinic just three days earlier.