NEWS

In Brief

Aegean quake

Strong 5.6-magnitude tremor shakes area of Chios; no injuries A strong undersea quake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale was recorded yesterday morning in the northeast Aegean, off the isle of Psara and close to Chios, but there were no injuries or damage reported. The quake, whose epicenter was about 20 kilometers from both Chios and Psara, was felt as far away as Athens. It occurred shortly before 4 a.m. yesterday and was followed by two aftershocks, measuring 5 and 5.3 Richter respectively, just after 9 a.m. Seismologists said they were monitoring the area. Illegal immigrants Police detain 114, two smugglers after searching truck near border Police in northern Greece yesterday detained 114 illegal immigrants and detained two suspected smugglers, both Romanians, after searching a truck that had crossed into Greece from Turkey. The immigrants, who included women and children, were from Pakistan, India, Iraq, Somalia and the Middle East. They had allegedly each paid 2,700 euros to the Romanians to be taken to Athens. Meanwhile Merchant Marine Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis ordered an inquiry into claims by a 14-year-old Afghan migrant that a Greek coast guard officer stabbed him in Patras where he had been due to board a ferry to Italy. Athens buses ETHEL says all vehicles are safe Members of the union of the Athens public bus company (ETHEL) yesterday stressed that all buses serving the capital are safe following a series of spontaneous combustions that led to 10 vehicles being withdrawn. According to ETHEL unionists, who met yesterday with Transport Minister Costis Hatzidakis, the malfunctions in certain vehicles are due to manufacture defects and understaffing which, they said, would be remedied in due course. Hatzidakis said he would next week present the results of tests on the 10 defective buses withdrawn last week. ERT suit An Athens prosecutor has brought criminal charges against the president of state broadcaster ERT, Christos Panagopoulos, for allegedly mismanaging the organization's finances. Prosecutor Eleni Raikou refers in the case file to excessively high salaries, bonuses and perks. ERT responded by stating: «The company is operating within the framework of the law and the procedures laid down in its statutes.» Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos expressed «certainty that ERT acted, and acts, with the sole criterion of the good of public television.» Soccer trouble A policeman was injured and a Serbian soccer fan arrested following clashes in Thessaloniki late last night after local soccer team Aris beat visiting Serbian team Red Star Belgrade 3-0. Serbian soccer fans reacted to their teams' defeat by vandalizing a tour bus and hurling pieces of metal at riot police. One Serbian fan was arrested after police found truncheons, tear gas and other weapons in his possession. On Thursday afternoon, before the game, a group of 10 youths stabbed three visiting Serbian fans in the legs. Hunting ban The Council of State, the country's highest administrative court, in a ruling yesterday banned hunting in parts of Greece affected by the devastating summer fires until the end of February. The court made the decision after an application was filed by an environmental group on the grounds that the fire had created imbalances in the country's ecosystem and problems for wildlife. The temporary hunting ban applies to only parts of the burnt areas, according to the ruling. Island aid Deputy Merchant Marine Minister Panayiotis Kammenos yesterday pledged to boost coastal shipping connections to remote islands of the Dodecanese following a meeting with mayors from most of the islands. The meeting was also attended by Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis. Local authorities said they were satisfied with the pledges.

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