Arts and Entertainment

Those who endured Williams’s recent X Factor performance need not fear: this brassy sequel to 2001’s big-band LP Swing When You’re Winning, is actually rather listenable. Not to say it’s great: he’s a karaoke kind of crooner and some of the covers here – such as “I Wanna Be Like You” with Olly Murs – should have remained the preserve of some celebrity charity ball.

Greek request

Athens (Reuter) - A special investigating parliamentary committee decided yesterday to ask parliament to bring criminal charges against the former conservative prime minister, Constantine Mitsotakis, and former ministers Andreas Andrianopoulos and Ioannis Palaikrassas, over kickback allegations.

Albania warns

Tirana (Reuter) - The Albanian President, Sali Berisha, accused Greek nationalists of trying to topple his government and said the growing crisis between Tirana and Athens could further destabilise the Balkans.

Travel: Departures: Greek gifts

CAMPUS Travel (071-730 3402) has cut the price of its summer charter flights from Gatwick to Athens and Salonika to pounds 99 return. Departures are at least twice weekly. The company also offers flights to Athens from Manchester ( pounds 149) and Glasgow ( pounds 159). All fares are subject to Greek government tax of pounds 16.

RAC puts patrols on the data highway

STRANDED motorists will soon be greeted by RAC patrol crews packing electronic books instead of bulky motoring manuals, to speed up fault diagnosis and improve the rate of breakdowns repaired at the roadside.

Tirana cracks the whip over ethnic Greeks: The feud with Athens prompts Albania to tighten the screws on its minority, writes Leonard Doyle in Dervicani

IT IS four years since Fr Michailis Dakos walked out of the manual labouring job he was forced to do by the Communist regime of Enver Hoxha. Now aged 77, the Greek Orthodox priest can freely observe his religion, but neither he nor his fellow Greek-Albanians feel liberated in the new Albania.

Athens warns Tirana on 'arrests'

GREECE yesterday stepped up its diplomatic war of words against Albania, accusing it of cracking down on ethnic Greeks in the south and trying to scare the community into fleeing across the border.

Setback for ex-PM

The Greek parliament voted to investigate the former conservative prime minister, Constantine Mitsotakis, over allegations that he accepted bribes in the sale of a Greek cement firm, Reuter reports from Athens.

Minister dies

The death of Greece's National Economy Minister, George Yennimatas, has left the Prime Minister, Andreas Papandreou, with a tough choice in deciding on the right person to try to turn the shattered economy around, Reuter reports from Athens. Yennimatas, 55, who died of cancer, completed an important tax reform bill to be voted in parliament tomorrow.

Athens-Tirana tension eases

ATHENS (Reuter) - Greece and Albania yesterday called a halt to retaliatory diplomatic expulsions until their foreign ministers meet next month, easing a row between the Balkan neighbours.

Rocket threat to 'Ark Royal'

AN ATTACK on the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal was narrowly averted after terrorist rocket launchers failed to fire because they were waterlogged, Greek police said yesterday.

Greece vows to make rich pay

The Greek government has levied new taxes on the wealthy and declared war on a notorious legion of tax-dodgers, Reuter reports from Athens. The Finance Minister, Alexandros Papadopoulos, painted a picture of fiscal chaos with public debt exceeding 26 trillion drachmas ( pounds 73bn) and revenue growing by 13 per cent in the last three months.

Angry Greek tobacco growers cut road to Athens with tractors

Farmers protesting at insufficient subsidies took action against the government for the fifth day yesterday.

Blueprints for democracy: the Greeks had a machine for it

IN EDINBURGH, there is a Democracy Machine on show. Its proper name is a kleroterion. It looks like a tall marble cupboard with vertical rows of slits in the front and a tube down the side. The Kleroterion, dug out of the Agora at Athens, is part of a 'Birth of Democracy' exhibition in the Museum of Scotland.

Mitsotakis faces investigation

The Greek parliament voted to investigate the former conservative prime minister, Constantine Mitsotakis, over allegations that he was involved in illegal wiretapping of political rivals from 1988 to 1991, Reuter reports from Athens.

Athens bus strike

Commuters in the Greek capital faced chaos yesterday as bus drivers stayed at home in protest at the Socialist government's plan to renationalise the city's bus services, Reuter reports from Athens.
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