NEWS

In Brief

CROOKED POLICE

Fifteen officers suspended over corruption charges Internal Affairs investigators in the northern Greece branch of the Greek Police testified before a Thessaloniki prosecutor yesterday in the case of 15 police officers charged with graft. The officers, who have been suspended from duty, were found by investigators to have been receiving undisclosed amounts of money from the owners of a number of entertainment arcades in the northern port city in exchange for tipping them off about raids that were planned on their establishments. The operation of slot machines by any business other than registered casinos is illegal in Greece. MEDICINE CRACKDOWN Tighter prescription control Health Minister Andreas Loverdos yesterday called on the financial crimes squad (SDOE) to increase its probes into medicine prescriptions and pharmaceuticals trafficking, following a string of discoveries of large caches of illegal medecines in various parts of the country believed to be connected to the illegal trafficking of pharmaceuticals. Loverdos also met with representatives of the union of Greek pharmacists to discuss the deregulation of the sector, one of many closed-shop professions that are scheduled for liberalization. Athens firebombs In a string of attacks in the early hours of yesterday morning, unknown assailants placed five gas canisters armed with fuses in the outdoor parking lot of the Public Power Corporation branch in Nea Ionia. Two of the five devices went off, starting a blaze that destroyed eight PPC vehicles. Meanwhile, five privately owned vehicles were doused in petrol and set alight at around the same time in the Athens neighborhoods of Peristeri and Exarchia. Police are investigating any possible links between the attacks, in which no one was injured. Naval exercises NATO members Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria will be holding joint naval exercises in the Aegean Sea from November 6 to 13, the Turkish Navy said yesterday. The eight-day exercises are aimed at building better cooperation between the naval forces of the three countries. Trash protest Contract workers at the Mavrorachi landfill, outside Thessaloniki, yesterday blockaded the facilities, demanding that their contracts be renewed. The 160 protesting employees did not allow garbage collection trucks into the area from 7 a.m. onward, raising concerns that trash will begin to pile up on the streets of the city and its environs unless the blockade is lifted soon. The protesting workers, meanwhile, said that they are ready to remain in place for several days unless their demands are met. Aegean quake An earthquake measuring 5 on the Richter scale shook the northern Aegean island of Samothrace at 4.50 a.m. yesterday. No one was injured and only a small amount of property damage was recorded. Seismologists at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, meanwhile, assured residents of northern Greece that the quake is no way connected to the 5.4 Richter earthquake in Serbia that occurred earlier the same day and in which two people were killed.

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