NEWS

In Brief

LONDON BOMBINGS

Greek bus driver taken into hiding by police as key witness The Greek driver of the bus blown up in one of the London attacks last Thursday is under police protection at a secret location the Athens News Agency reported yesterday. Giorgos Psaradakis, 47, survived the blast with minor injuries. The bus's CCTV system was not working on the morning of the attacks so the Metropolitan Police consider Psaradakis a key witness to events leading to the explosion, which killed 13 people. Meanwhile, a service for the victims of the London bombings is to be held at 10.30 a.m. tomorrow at Saint Paul's Anglican Church at 27 Filellinon Street, off Syntagma Square. JOKER LOTTERY One lucky winner to walk away with 11 million euros in prize money After repeated attempts in previous weeks failed to find a winner, Sunday night's joker lottery draw finally led to one ticket-holder having the right to claim the 11-million-euro jackpot. However, Thomas Hatzis, the owner of the betting shop in Glyfada which sold the winning ticket, told Kathimerini that he told a young man who thought he had won to come back to the shop later as the TV crews that had swarmed the store would «eat him alive.» Until last night, the identity of the winner was still unknown. FUEL FOUL Gas stations fined 1 million euros Authorities yesterday imposed 973,509 euros' worth of fines on petrol stations for selling diluted fuel. As part of the government's latest fight against the illegal fuel trade, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas approved the fines when sample tests conducted found that the fuel being sold by the gas stations did not meet specifications. Medicine Greeks spent some 2.1 billion euros on medicines in 2003, according to figures released yesterday by the Hellenic Association of Pharmaceutical Companies (SFEE). On average, Greeks spend 194 euros per head on medicine each year - well below the eurozone average of 389 euros. A fifth of all drugs sold in Greece is for heart problems, SFEE said. Drowned girl Bathers retrieved the body of a drowned six-year-old girl off Vouliagmeni Bay on Sunday afternoon, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. The girl, who was not named, had been on the beach with her family, the ministry said. The exact circumstances of her death were unclear. Security Council Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis is due to address the UN Security Council in New York today as Greece, which holds the group's rotating presidency this month, presides over a discussion on the council's role in humanitarian crises. Molyviatis is also due to meet with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan tomorrow. Hashed attempt A 47-year-old man who tried to pay off his bar bill with a cigarette allegedly containing hashish has been detained, Kos police said yesterday. The unnamed punter offered the drugs to the bar owner early yesterday morning, according to police, who said they found 1.8 grams of hashish in his possession. The size of the punter's bar bill was not revealed. Sales ditch Deputy Development Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou yesterday referred 10 firms to their local prefectures for breaking strict laws on summer sales by advertising the discounts in advance or by beginning the sale before the deadline set by the government or, in some cases, doing both. Summer sales will begin on July 18 and run through August 27. Papathanassiou referred 14 companies for fines last week for similar offenses. Bomb explosion A homemade bomb exploded in Petralona, Athens, late on Sunday night, in front of a construction site belonging to building firm Aktor, but no one was injured. A phone call to a local daily tipped off authorities about the explosion, which occurred shortly before midnight, but no group has claimed responsibility for the incident. The exploding device only damaged the rubbish bin in which it had been placed. Smoking guns Three armed men held up a cigarette wholesaler in Kolonos, central Athens, yesterday, making off with an unknown amount of cash after shooting into the air three times.

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