Buy This Issue
The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 11 November 2017
26 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 11 NOVEMBER 2017 GREECE Greek terrorist on a twoday furlough Notorious urban terrorist Dimitris Koufodinas was temporarily released from jail on Thursday, benefitting from a furlough program. One of the leaders of the terrorist organisation '17 November', Koufodinas has been sentenced to 11 life sentences for murdering a number of leading political and economical figures, most notably journalist and MP, Pavlos Bakoyiannis. His widow, Dora Bakoyiannis, is a former Greek Foreign Minister, a Nea Dimocratia MP, and daughter of the late PM Kostas Mitsotakis. She commented on her husband's killer release tweeting: "How can they grant leave to November 17's gun? Mr Koufodinas will be going around Athens to- morrow a free man?" Her brother Leader of the Opposition Kiriakos Mitsotakis also tweeted: "Any furlough to Koufontinas is unthinkable. It's not just his despicable actions against democracy, but because he's never expressed any remorse for these (actions), and remains a ideological instructor for a new generation of terrorists". Koufodinas surrendered to the authorities in 2002, after 17N was dismantled, following a botched attempt to plant a bomb at the port of Piraeus, which severely injured member Savvas Xiros. He presented himself at police headquarters while a pursuit against him was underway, and he took "political responsibility" for the actions of the group. The terrorist organisation had been active since 1975, responsible for 103 attacks which led to the assasination of 23 people, among them foreign diplomats, military personnel, newspaper owners, and politicians. Koufodinas is believed to be the leader of the 'second generation' of the group. Since his incarceration he has often written articles and letters to Greek newspapers. His furlough, which is part of a humanitarian program allowing for long-term convicts to briefly reunite with family members, under supervision, will be his first time outside prison in 15 years. Tax authorities investigate Greek names on Paradise Papers list Greece's Independent Authority for Public Revenue (IAPR) has ordered an investigation into the alleged existence of Greek taxpayers in the Paradise Papers. The massive leak of 13.4 million secret financial documents has created a stir around the world, with several dignitaries and celebrities allegedly holding fortunes in offshore tax havens. According to the Greek daily Ethnos, more than 130 Greek names appear in the leaked documents which detail how the world's biggest companies and individuals have sheltered their wealth in secretive tax havens. Heads of state, politicians, and celebrities - not least among them Bono and Queen Elizabeth - appear in the papers, which have come from two offshore service providers and the company registries of 19 tax havens, and was brought to the attention of the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Among the Greek names mentioned in the files are persons associated with politicians, a large number of ship owners, and a major executive of a bank that participated in offshore companies. The most prominent name to appear is that of Mareva Grabowsky, spouse of the leader of the Opposition party in Greece Kiriakos Mitsotakis. On the list, Mareva Grabowski appears to be the manager of a mutual fund based in the Cayman Islands. She dismissed accusations, stating that she said had little do the with administrative aspects of the fund as she was not on its managing board, adding that the fund's trustee was Goldman Sachs Execution and Clearing LP, and JP Morgan London was the cooperating bank, which guaranteed that the required transparency regulations were being honoured and anti-money laundering checks conducted. As for any insinuations of her spouse's involvement, she noted that it was well-known the pair had been separated at the time. Athens Planetarium gets new state-ofthe-art projection system For decades, the Eugenides Planetarium has been quietly building a reputation, gaining the status as one of the leading educational organisations in Athens, offering children and adults the opportunity to connect to the universe in an engaging and entertaining way. Now its director, Dr Manos Kitsonas, has announced the installation of new projectors that utilise the latest technological advancements. The new system comprises six Barco F90-W13 projectors which use a laser phosphor light source. Laser phosphor is a lampless projection illumination platform that uses blue laser diodes to display images. "The result is really impressive," Dr Kitsonas said in an interview with newspaper Kathimerini. "We are able to achieve greater levels of brightness (reaching 13,000 lumens) and amazing colour quality, while maintaining excellent image contrast." The new, digital planetarium was inaugurated in 2003 and is considered to be the best- equipped of its kind in Europe. Popular with locals and tourists alike, it welcomed 250,000 visitors of all ages in 2016. This year it has already presented 11 different shows combining education with entertainment, sharing the latest discoveries and developments in the fields of astronomy, astrophysics and space science through engaging shows, while also raising awareness on a number of environmental issues. Find out more at www. eugenfound.edu.gr Police identify weapon used to assault PASOK headquarters Greek authorities suspect a small extremist leftist group to be the perpetrators of the assault rifle attack around the offices of the centre-left socialist party PASOK on Monday. The police investigating the incident collected cartridges found at the spot and according to the ballistic report, the weapon used is an AK-47 'Kalashnikov', which was also used in three other acts of urban terrorism: two against PASOK headquarters and one against the Mexican Embassy in Athens. The shadowy urban terrorist group uses the moniker 'Organization for Revolutionary Self-Defense'. According to eyewitnesses, the perpetrator was a man dressed in DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM dark clothes who targeted the riot police officer guarding the headquarters of the party, which had been in government for more than two decades, before seeing its appeal diminish, after the country's default. The assailant was assisted by an accomplice, who stood by on a motorcycle on which they both fled the scene after the incident. Greek police bust drug trafficking ring selling cannabis in high schools A drug trafficking ring was busted in Athens on Wednesday, when police arrested ten suspects - eight Albanians and two Greeks - aged between 18 and 26, who were believed to have been selling cannabis to high school students in the inner suburbs of Zografou, Kaisariani, Vyronas, and Pangrati. Police conducted searches in the homes of the suspects, confiscating 1.5 kg of cannabis, €8,000 cash, a weapon and 12 mobile phones. In the past three months, the racket is believed to have sold 12.5 kilograms of cannabis, net- ting around €100,000 profit. According to authorities, the ring was led by two Albanian nationals, aged 24 and 26, who brought in cannabis from Albania and distributed to the other members who sold to school children, charging €5 and €8 a gram for cannabis. Greece creates platform for ‘Airbnb tax’ Airbnb-lodged properties should be declared or face a hefty fine. According to a report printed in daily financial paper Naftemporiki, the independent public revenues authority of Greece is about to launch an online platform for owners leasing residential lodgings on a short-term basis. Registration will be mandatory and it will provide property owners with a certi- fication number, which should be declared on any digital platform, website and social media sites where it is advertised - including the Airbnb website. The platform will demand the declaration of the property, the names of the renters and the duration of the lease, or otherwise owners will face a fine of up to €5,000. According to tourism industry experts, this measure is aimed to appease the official tourist lodging sector (hotels, and rooms-to-let), facing unfair competition by shared economy newcomers, such as Airbnb. Tax authorities also aim to collect revenue from people who put their property on Airbnb, a practise that is becoming more and more widespread in crisisstricken Greece, by providing people with alternative sources of income. Greek government seeks ways to end rift with notaries over property foreclosures The 'bad loans' saga had a surprise twist on Monday, as the Greek notaries' union announced a boycott on property foreclosures. Greek notaries have announced an intention to abstain from all activity until the end of 2017, asking for safety measures to be undertaken for the process of electonic auctions of property under foreclosure. This turn of events undermined the process of foreclosure, which is among Greece's commitments under the bailout agreement, as it is a way to reduce the number of bad loans currently held by banks. The issue has been stagnating for years, and the resumption of foreclosure is bound to create more tension, particularly since Syriza had campaigned on the pledge that "no house will end up in the hands of bankers". Eager to go forward with the foreclosures, the Greek government is bound to concede to the notaries' demands. "They will be given the security guarantees that they are seeking," one government source said. "We believe that, with these guarantees, there will no longer be a reason to continue the boycott of foreclosures."
04 November 2017
18 November 2017