NEWS

In Brief

LESVOS SEARCH

Coast guard looking for survivors from possible wrecked migrant boat Coast guard officers were yesterday searching the sea off Lesvos after a fisherman found the body of a migrant and rescued another immigrant off the Aegean island. The survivor said he had been on a boat with another 31 people. Earlier, 33 Afghan migrants were detained after being found in a boat off the island but it is not clear if they were in the same vessel as the other immigrants. SERBIA AND KOSOVO Minister calls on EU to boost Serbian ties but not as a trade-off Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis led calls on Saturday for the European Union to develop closer ties with Serbia but not to use it as a trade-off for the independence of the province of Kosovo, a subject on which Athens thinks there should be more diplomatic talks. Bakoyannis made the comments after meeting in Athens with her counterparts from Bulgaria and Romania. All three signed a statement calling on the EU to confirm a Stabilization and Association agreement with Serbia. On Kosovo, Bakoyannis urged the EU and the US to «tackle the issue without haste and with sobriety.» «We should try and leave the communications channels between Belgrade and Pristina open,» she said. CHRYSOSTOMOS DIES Ex-Cyprus archbishop had been ill The former head of Cyprus's Orthodox Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos, died on Saturday at the age of 80 after a long illness. He had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease for a number of years and had been replaced as head of the Church by Archbishop Chrysostomos II following an election last year that was held after Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios had called for the elderly man's «honorary removal.» «The late archbishop was a deeply spiritual man and held aloft the flame of faith and country in difficult and trying times,» said Chrysostomos II. Grill man shot A man was shot in the stomach late on Saturday night when three armed assailants held up a grill house in Pangrati, eastern Athens, police said yesterday. The gunmen demanded employees hand over the store's money but when one of them resisted, they shot him. The assailants then left the store empty-handed. The man's injury was not serious, police added. City shoppers Thousands of shoppers headed to the city center yesterday for last-minute gifts in sunny weather despite the low temperatures. Syntagma Square in central Athens was a popular location with its many Christmas decorations and performing artists. Stores, museums and archaeological sites will be closed tomorrow and Wednesday. Festive travel Thousands of vehicles continued to leave Athens for the Christmas period yesterday without any major problems, according to authorities, though adverse weather conditions in Thessaloniki resulted in the cancellation of some flights. Eight scheduled flights due to depart from the northern Greek city were canceled while other domestic and international routes were delayed. Flights began taking off as normal after midday when weather conditions improved. Passenger ferries departing for the country's islands left from Greece's main ports on schedule, authorities added Drug suspects Police in Thessaloniki have arrested three people, including a suspected drug dealer who allegedly shot and seriously injured an officer in October. An arrest warrant was issued for the main suspect and after raiding his home, police also took his 19-year-old girlfriend into custody. The search yielded a handgun and small quantities of drugs. A third man, who drove a private bus between Albania and Greece, was also arrested on suspicion of supplying the other two suspects with drugs. All three are Albanian nationals. Food seized Prefecture officials in Argolida, in the Peloponnese, seized 2 tons of meat that was being transported in unsuitable conditions on a truck belonging to a supermarket chain. Officials said yesterday the supermarket, which was not named, had loaded the truck with different types of meat, dairy products, bread and pizzas rather than transporting them separately as required by law. The supermarket has been hit with fines and the file has been forwarded to a prosecutor, officials added. Workers evacuated Forty immigrants were safely evacuated when a fire broke out at a poultry farm yesterday near Arta, western Greece, where they had been given accommodation as employees of the farm, police said. The immigrants, from Romania, are among 125 staff members on the farm. Authorities have launched an investigation into the causes of the blaze and the status of the workers.

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