NEWS

In Brief

NOVEMBER 17

Savvas Xeros backs co-defendants in revised testimony, lawyer says Self-confessed November 17 terrorist Savvas Xeros has submitted additional testimony which seeks to partially absolve four of his co-defendants, Xeros’s lawyer said yesterday. Xeros’s fresh claims refer to his brother, Vassilis, as well as Thomas Serifis, Theologos Psaradellis and Iraklis Kostaris, the lawyer said. The government has said it will present Savvas Xeros with a bill for over 19,000 euros for his treatment in the Athens Evangelismos Hospital after he was severely injured in late June by a bomb he was carrying. Yesterday, an Athens court rejected an appeal for representation as civil plaintiffs lodged by the family of police driver Sotiris Stamoulis who was killed by November 17 operatives in 1980. No one can be tried for the murder of Stamoulis as the crime has expired under the 20-year statute of limitations, the court ruled. CRIME Greece worst Balkan offender, with the highest rate of crime, says Interpol Greece only appears to have a relatively high rate of criminal activity compared to its Balkan neighbors due to its efficient reporting procedures, government spokesman Christos Protopappas said yesterday in response to yesterday’s publication in the Eleftheros Typos daily of an Interpol report showing Greece to have the highest rate of crime in the Balkans. The report also says that the Greek police force is the most inefficient in the Balkans at tracing criminals. But though Greece has more crimes per 100,000 of the population, most fall into the petty-crime category. It also has the lowest homicide rate. «Greece is a safe country,» Protapappas said. PRICE PROTESTS INKA threatens further action The Consumer Institute (INKA) yesterday threatened to take decisive, but unspecified, action to bring down rocketing prices in consumer goods unless the problem is addressed. The institute said it would take action «beyond the symbolic and preemptive nature of previous protests» – a reference to two consumer boycotts in September – «against all those whose activities and oversights… amount to an assault on consumers’ economic interests and health.» INKA said the fact that no inspection process had been introduced with adoption of the euro is largely to blame for widespread price hikes. Fewer fishing boats A total of 255 Greek fishing boats are to be destroyed in accordance with measures that are part of the European Union’s policy of restricting fishing to preserve dwindling reserves in the Mediterranean Sea, the Agriculture Ministry said yesterday. Owners of the condemned 12-meter-long vessels are to receive their share of an estimated total of 12.24 million euros in compensation, the ministry said. Karadzaferis Extreme right-wing candidate for the Attica-Piraeus superprefecture Giorgos Karadzaferis’s claim to have two Jewish candidates on his team is not true, the Central Israelite Council of Greece said yesterday. «Karadzaferis, for years now, has made a habit of unacceptable distortions of the truth in matters concerning Judaism,» the council said. Harassment? Conservative New Democracy’s Thessaloniki prefectural candidate, Panayiotis Psomiadis, yesterday called a search of his business books by the Financial Crime Squad (SDOE) just a few days prior to elections an act of «political shabbiness» instigated by his opponents. The search revealed nothing reprehensible, Psomiadis said, querying whether it was a coincidence that the wife of the SDOE Chief for Central Macedonia is a socialist candidate for prefectural councilor. Paparigas accident Journalist Athanassios Paparigas, the husband of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga, was in the intensive care department of an Athens hospital last night after sustaining serious injuries when he was hit by a car. Fuel receipts Retailers of diesel oil and heating fuel traders will be obliged to give out receipts and keep a record of purchases made as of January 1, 2003, Deputy Economy Minister Apostolos Fotiadis insisted yesterday during a meeting with unionists representing fuel traders, who have threatened to go on strike from November 11 unless the government rescinds the decision on receipts and purchase records.