NEWS

In Brief

Tsochatzopoulos Investigation

Prosecutor appointed to look into ex-minister’s property deal Prosecutor Paraskevas Adamis was yesterday given the task of investigating the purchase of a three-story building in central Athens by former PASOK minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos from an offshore company just days before a change in the tax regulations would have led to the firm facing a large bill. Adamis’s first goal will be to establish whether any tax laws were broken before he then investigates other possible offenses. Tsochatzopoulos insists that the purchase of the property, which cost him and his wife 1 million euros, was totally legitimate. TRANSPORT STRIKE Workers protest reforms There will be no public transport tomorrow as workers on the metro, tram, buses, trolley buses and Kifissia-Piraeus urban electric railway (ISAP) will take part in a 24-hour strike. The workers are staging the strike to protest impending pension reforms which will see their pension fund merged with others. Lake Koroneia A report by public administration inspectors yesterday accused the Thessaloniki Prefecture of delays in imposing fines on businesses found to have been responsible for polluting Lake Koroneia, near the northern port city. The inspectors found that the local authority failed to impose any fines for environmental offenses between 2004 and 2008 and that it offered a 30 percent discount on penalties that it imposed after this period. Prefect Panayiotis Psomiadis dismissed the report as an effort to damage his popularity ahead of local elections later this year. Prisoners escape A prisoner escaped from custody yesterday after jumping from the window of a magistrate’s office in Athens. The suspect, an Albanian national, had been taken from Korydallos Prison to be questioned by a magistrate. Police officers were not allowed to accompany the inmate into the room and moments later the magistrate informed them that he had jumped from the window. Another Albanian inmate escaped yesterday while being transferred from Ioannina, northwestern Greece, to face a prosecutor. Authorities said that the prisoner forced open the rear door of the van that he was being transported in and jumped out while it was still in motion. Clean beaches Greece has been ranked second in a list of 41 countries for the quality of its beaches, with 421 of its coastal stretches receiving a European Union Blue Flag this year. The blue flags are awarded each year to beaches that satisfy criteria ranging from clean water to management of the local environment. The prefectures with the largest number of blue flag beaches are Lasithi, in Crete, followed by Halkidiki, on the mainland of northern Greece. Suppliers react Suppliers of state hospitals today suspended their deliveries in protest at the government’s decision to settle debts to the hospitals, accrued in the period 2007 to 2009, with state bonds rather than cash. The state owes nearly 3 billion euros to state hospitals. Suppliers have demanded that the debts for 2007 to 2009 be paid in cash, noting that the remainder can be paid in state bonds.