Ex education minister undergoes second angioplasty operation Former Education Minister Marietta Giannakou yesterday afternoon underwent a second angioplasty operation in less than a week as political leaders rushed to wish her well. Giannakou had a first angioplasty operation earlier this week following a heart attack. Three weeks ago, surgeons amputated her right leg to avert the risk of an infection that developed following a fracture. Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis yesterday praised Giannakou's contribution. «She gave a lot toward reforming education and now is the time when the fruits of her labor are benefiting our young people,» he said. TECHNICIAN TESTIFIES Newspaper employee implicated in DVD scandal denies involvement A technician from the Proto Thema newspaper, who Evi Tsekou alleges helped copy the footage of her having sex with former Culture Ministry general secretary Christos Zachopoulos, appeared before a magistrate yesterday to deny the claims. Technician Giorgos Zois refused to make a public statement but sources said that he denied any involvement in the affair. Tsekou claims that the video footage was copied without her permission when she went to Proto Thema to show it to journalists there. CARNIVAL POOPERS Scuffle with police in Thessaloniki Carnival revelers were involved in minor scuffles with police in Thessaloniki late on Thursday following a big celebration in the city center. A group threw empty cans of foam spray at officers and then set fire to rubbish bins, which they pushed into the middle of the road. The incident ended without any injuries or arrests. Meanwhile, a specially modified vessel was called in yesterday to help collect the empty bottles and cans that had been thrown into the sea by the city's revelers. The ship cleaned the water between Thessaloniki's port and the White Tower. Moderate quake A moderate quake, measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale, occurred near Kozani, in northern Greece, just after noon yesterday. The quake did not cause any damage or injuries but was felt across the prefecture. Seismologists described the tremor, whose epicenter was located under the village of Servia, as an «isolated phenomenon.» Zoning objections A group of 10 environmental protection groups yesterday called for the revocation of a national land zoning plan, unveiled by the government earlier this week. According to the group, the plan does not foresee sustainable development and serves the interests of construction companies. Church probe The Holy Synod yesterday said it would conduct an investigation into the activities of Allileghii (Solidarity), the Orthodox Church's charity organization. Church officials will probe the organization's finances and administration, sources said. In January, the Foreign Ministry asked Allileghii to return more than 6 million euros that had been destined for victims of the December 2004 tsunami amid speculation that the funds were not used on food aid as had been intended. Bank raids Police in Thessaloniki were yesterday seeking two armed robbers believed to have conducted two raids on banks in the northern city. In the first raid, at 10.30 a.m., assailants fled with 10,500 euros after targeting a branch of Alpha Bank. In the second raid, on a branch of Emporiki Bank shortly before noon, the robbers netted 9,850 euros. There were no reports of injuries in either robbery. Assailants' trial Three youths accused of attacking National First Aid Center (EKAB) staff in Hania, Crete, on Wednesday night, are to appear in court on Monday on charges of verbal abuse and causing bodily harm. The youths claim to have reacted violently after an alleged delay by ambulance services treating their friend, who was sick from too much alcohol. Ships collide Two ships collided off the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos yesterday but authorities said there were no injuries or danger of pollution. It was not clear what caused the dry-bulk carriers, the Georgian-flagged Lady Olga and the Turkish-flagged Ravanda, to collide.