NEWS

In Brief

TAXING SITUATION

Policeman shot, injured as tax office hostage-taker is arrested A police negotiator suffered a light injury after being shot during a successful attempt to end a hostage situation at a tax office in western Greece yesterday. A 47-year-old man was arrested in Vonitsa after holding a 55-year-old tax office employee hostage for several hours. The suspect was armed with a handgun but the tax official emerged unharmed from the ordeal. The injured policeman was treated in the hospital for a flesh wound. It was not clear what led to the 47-year-old’s actions. MILITARY PROCUREMENTS Ex-official remains tight-lipped The former head of military procurements at the Defense Ministry, Evangelos Vasilakos, refused to give MPs further information about comments he made in a radio interview claiming that many of the contracts signed by the Greek state were damaging for taxpayers. «I cannot mention any names or go into greater detail about which contracts damaged the Greek state because I do not have parliamentary immunity,» said Vasilakos. In his interview with Skai Radio some two weeks ago, the former public servant had questioned the multimillion-euro deal for the United Arab Emirates-based Abu Dhabi MAR Group to buy ThyssenKrupp’s majority stake in Hellenic Shipyards, also known as Skaramanga, and the role of Nikos Papandreou, Prime Minister George Papandreou’s brother, in securing the agreement. Work stoppage Civil servants’ union ADEDY and the group that represents private sector workers, GSEE, are holding a three-hour work stoppage from noon today in protest at the government’s economic reforms. The unions are due to hold a rally in front of Parliament at 1 p.m. Financial probe Dora Bakoyannis, the leader of Democratic Alliance, submitted a question in Parliament yesterday asking Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou why there had been no developments in the legal case against publisher and TV presenter Themos Anastasiadis over the 1.1 million euros in checks that he was found in possession of at the Swiss-French border in January 2008, as well as the 5.2 million euros discovered in one of his bank accounts. Anastasiadis was being investigated by the financial crimes squad on suspicion of money laundering. Insurers charged A court of first instance prosecutor yesterday charged the executive board of the VDV Leben International insurance firm, a German company operating in Greece, with a series of felonies including fraud and forgery after concluding that it did not comply with Greek law. The prosecutor said that the company displayed in its accounting books assets worth some 42 million euros that it did not possess. Turkish overflights Eight Turkish air force jets entered Greek air space over the island of Chios without permission yesterday morning, the Defense Ministry said. The planes then flew over Fournoi and Agathonisi at altitudes of between 10,000 and 24,000 feet before exiting Greek air space south of Samos. The overflight lasted 29 minutes, military sources said.