Australian tourist in Greek arrest crossfire

An Australian tourist has been injured as Greek police captured one of the country’s top fugitives after a shootout in central Athens.

An Australian man has been caught in the crossfire as Greek police captured far-left extremist Nikos Maziotis – one of the country’s top fugitives – after a shootout in central Athens.

“Nikos Maziotis has been arrested,” a police source said on Wednesday, adding that a police officer had been injured in the shooting near the tourist district of Monastiraki.

Maziotis and a policeman were injured during the shootout accoridng to media reports.

According to early reports, two male tourists – an Australian and a German – were also lightly hurt in the exchange of fire, the police source said.

Maziotis himself, a leading member of defunct militant outfit Revolutionary Struggle, was more seriously injured, state television Nerit reported.

“I saw a man being taken away with his hands behind his back, he was bleeding profusely,” a witness told reporters at the scene.

“I believe he was wearing a wig,” she added.

Media reports said Maziotis was armed with a handgun and a grenade, which he threw at the police but failed to explode.

Maziotis, 42, and his companion Panagiota Roupa – also a one-time member of Revolutionary Struggle – had been conditionally released from prison in 2012 and subsequently disappeared.

They have a four-year-old son who was born in an Athens hospital a few months after his parents were imprisoned in 2010.

Revolutionary Struggle, which first emerged in 2003, was once deemed by authorities to be the country’s most dangerous far-left organisation and is on EU and US lists of terrorist groups.

The United States put a bounty on the group after it fired a rocket at the US embassy in Athens in 2007 without injuring anyone.

Greek of the Week Features Vicki Liviakis!


Greek of the Week Features Vicki Liviakis!

New Greek TV’s featured Greek of the Week is Emmy-Award winning journalist Vicki Liviakis!

Liviakis is a KRON 4 news anchor based in San Francisco and has always wanted a career in journalism. She describes, “My father was a TV repairman and his brother was a rocket scientist. My mother’s family loved to perform – on Broadway and at The Met. Because I lacked the talent to sing – I used my voice to tell stories, to inform and sometimes even move people”.

The intelligent Greek-American journalist was born to Greek parents and grew up in Sacramento, California. Her father’s origins are from a small village outside of Hania, Crete, while her mother is from Kalamata and Corinth. The acclaimed news anchor explains how her ethnicity influences her daily life, “I never altered my given name – Vicki Liviakis. Like any ethic name it can create an opportunity to educate. I’m always happy to explain its roots from the island of Crete”. Her favorite places in Greece are Santorini, Crete and Hydra. She views Greece as, “a special place to refresh your body, mind and soul”.

Liviakis, a mother of one son, had an all-American childhood with a Greek twist. Her father coached Little League, while her mother was the PTA President, but also served as the President of the Orthodox Church community and taught Sunday School. Of her tight-knit family she declares, “My Papou lived with us in his later years and he loved his krasi!”

The stunning news anchor graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and studied Social Science, Political Science and Journalism. Liviakis began her journalism career in radio, working as a news director and host. She then broke into television as a freelance reporter, host and anchor.

Liviakis’ very successful career includes winning two Emmy Awards for Best Entertainment Program for The West and for Best On Camera Performance for a PBS title. She has been honored with a plethora of other awards, including six Associated Press Awards and Best Documentary and Best Mini Series Awards from the Radio-Television News Directors Association. The American Women in Radio and Television honored Liviakis for her Outstanding Contributions to Broadcasting.

The talented news anchor has traveled around the globe reporting on a wide range of international events. Liviakis views herself as, “A journalist and witness to living history and a storyteller. I discovered long ago that fact is stranger than fiction, and truth is the most powerful tool in the telling of a compelling story”. Vicki Liviakis’ offers her best piece of advice for anyone trying to fulfill their dream, “Do what you love, love what you do. The rest takes care of itself”.

Historic Houses of Worship: St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine


Vividly painted frescoes in St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine depict scenes from the life of Christ, the apostles and the saints.   Jackie Kramer

Jackie Kramer
Vividly painted frescoes in St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine depict scenes from the life of Christ, the apostles and the saints.

St. Photios stands as a tribute to the first permanent colony of Greeks who arrived in America with fellow immigrants from Corsica and Italy on June 26, 1768. They were recruited by Scottish physician Andrew Turnbull and his partner, who received grants from Great Britain to help develop settlements in newly acquired Florida.

The Greeks escaped oppression in their homelands only to find themselves toiling under deplorable conditions as indentured servants in New Smyrna, south of St. Augustine, where they were promised tracts of land in exchange for their hard work. Though many perished, hundreds who survived fled to St. Augustine in 1777.

The English allowed them to worship in Casa Avero, a home built in 1749. The Avero House was purchased by the Greek Orthodox Diocese in 1966, and in 1972, it was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The shrine has been established as a living memorial “…to the first Greek settlers on the American continent and to all the Greek Orthodox pioneers whose love of freedom and desire for a better life for themselves and their children brought them to this New World.” (Shrine Newsletter, Sept. 2013).

St. Photios is filled with photographs, historical documents and artifacts. The chapel is a real gem in which religion is brought to life through art and architecture. Archways gracefully yield one to another.

Walls and ceilings are frescoed by artist Geroge Fillipakis, with Byzantine-style scenes from the life of Christ, the apostles, and the saints. The paintings are heavily embellished with 22-karat gold leaf.

It is easy to see why the St. Photios Chapel is referred to as “The Jewel of St. George Street.”

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