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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-07-20

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Scant clues in terror-linked murder of journalist
  • [02] Budget deficit down 45.4 pct
  • [03] ND leader marks Cyprus invasion

  • [01] Scant clues in terror-linked murder of journalist

    Counter-terrorism detectives investigating the murder of journalist Sokratis Giolias reported scant progress in their investigation on Tuesday, one day after the 37-year-old father of one was gunned down outside his home in the Athens suburb of Ilioupolis.

    The case had been transferred from homicide to the counter-terrorism squad on Monday, after ballistics tests showed the guns used in the attack had both been used in prior attacks by the terror group "Sect of Revolutionaries". Police have little other evidence to go on, however, since there were few people around to witness the dawn attack and it was too dark to properly identify the attackers.

    Detectives are now waiting for the terror group to issue ia proclamation, which is expected to shed some light on why Giolias was chosen as a target and clarify details about the attack that have not yet been settled.

    Police also hope to glean additional clues when Giolias' wife testifies on Wednesday. The woman is still in shock and unable to talk about the case but, from her initial statements to police, she may have seen at least one of the attackers from the security camera above the apartment building's entrance when he rang their bell and persuaded Giolias to come down, claiming that someone was trying to steal his car.

    From the evidence so far, police believe that three people took part in the attack on the journalist, with two waiting for him in the entrance of the apartment building and a third in the street near the stolen car they used to get away.

    The coroner's report said that Giolias was hit by 16 bullets, most of which entered from behind. This is seen to indicate that the journalist tried to escape his attackers and one of the terrorists continued shooting. The second attacker then fired the killing shot, aiming three bullets at the journalist's head.

    Police are also looking into the possibility that a fourth person and a second car was involved, following behind the other three at a distance as a precautionary measure. They are also looking into witness reports that someone on a motorbike had been watching the journalist's home over the past 10 days.

    Investigating officers are also engaged in an effort to find additional witnesses or material captured on surveillance cameras in the area where the torched getaway car was found, as well as possible witnesses at the site where the car was stolen in Alimos the previous Saturday. So far, however, nothing of interest has come up.

    Giolias, 37, was general director of the private Thema 98.9 FM radio station and long-time former associate of investigative journalist Makis Triantafyllopoulos.

    According to a statement to police by Giolias' wife, an unknown man rang the doorbell of their second-floor apartment at about 5:20 a.m. and told Giolias that someone had attempted to steal his car and set off the alarm.

    When Giolias descended to the building entrance, the gunmen were waiting in ambush and shot him several times as he came out of the elevator, killing him on the spot.

    At around 7:00 a.m. a burned car was found approximately 1.5 kilometers from the murder scene, and police believe it was the killers' getaway car. The car had been stolen from nearby Alimos two days earlier (Saturday, July 7) and its theft had been reported by the owner to the local police station.

    According to an eye-witness account, the perpetrators were at least three and were wearing uniforms, possibly of a security company or the municipal police.

    Based on the method used and ferocity of the attack, police initially surmised that it was a contract killing, since the attack was well-organised.

    Giolias' wife and the couple's 3-year-old child were in the apartment at the time of the killing.

    [02] Budget deficit down 45.4 pct

    Greece's budget deficit shrank 45.4 pct in the first half of 2010, surpassing an annual target for a decline of 39.5 pct, to 9.754 billion euros, from 17.866 billion euros in the corresponding period last year, official figures showed on Tuesday.

    A report by the General Accounting Office attributed this positive development mainly to a drastic cut in public spending, while budget revenues lagged behind with a 7.2 pct growth rate in the January-June period, down from a budget target for an annual growth of 13.7 pct.

    Regular budget spending fell 12.5 pct in the first six months of the year, up from a budget target of 5.5 pct, while primary spending fell 12.3 pct from a budget target of 5.8 pct, while spending on interest fell 13.3 pct from a budget target of 5.6 pct. Spending by the Public Investments Program dropped 39.8 pct in the first half, while revenues of the program were down 40 pct over the same period.

    [03] ND leader marks Cyprus invasion

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras, said today, the 36th anniversary of the Turkish invasion and military occupation of the northern part of of Cyprus, was a sad anniversary that brings to the memories of all of Hellenism the dramatic hours of the biggest national tragedy in modern history.

    It at the same time reminds the world of the true dimension of the Cyprus problem, which was rooted in the Turkish invasion and concerns the ongoing Turkish occupation and the ethnic cleansing that was carried out by the occupation troops, as well as the colonisation of the occupied territories.

    He paid honor to those who fell in the unequal battle in 1974 and expressed support for the struggles of the Cypriot Hellenism for a democratic, viable and functional solution, in the framework of the UN Security Council resolutions and the EU acquis, an equal member of which the Republic of Cyprus is.

    Samaras called for a solution that will put an end to the unacceptable situation and lead to a reunited Cyprus without occupation troops.

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