NEWS

In Brief

LOST BOY

Search crews continue looking for 3-year-old coach passenger Rescue workers will this morning return to the banks of the Aliakmon River to resume their search for a 3-year-old boy who has been missing since an intercity coach plunged into the river shortly after leaving Thessaloniki for Athens late on Saturday. Apart from little Thanassis Senia, who is presumed dead, 14 people were killed, including his 8-year-old sister Stella. Traffic police believe the driver lost control of the bus. OLYMPIC VOLUNTEERS Applications now above 61,000, 3,000 interviews expected in March Applications for Olympic volunteer work have now exceeded 61,000, the Olympic Games Organizing Committee (ATHOC) said yesterday, noting that telephone and written inquiries from prospective volunteers increased by 42.5 percent and 45 percent respectively after television promotion began on January 30. ATHOC started interviewing prospective volunteers on the same day and is expecting to hold 3,000 45-minute interviews in March and more in successive months. The committee is aiming to select 60,000 volunteers from a desired total of 150,000 applications. TAXES Accountants can now file statements Taxpayers can file their tax declarations with an accountant as of this year, the Economy Ministry said yesterday. Citizens can still submit their statements in person at tax offices, by post or over the Internet using the Taxisnet system. Extortion probe Chief prosecutor Sotiris Bayias yesterday received the results of a six-week investigation into allegations that journalists and extreme right-wingers regularly blackmailed leading businessmen and senior bishops. The report by prosecutor Dimitris Papangelopoulos presents evidence incriminating certain individuals, sources said yesterday. Bayias is expected to decide on whether criminal charges should be brought against these individuals over the next few days. Quake. An earthquake measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale struck Margariti in the northwestern prefecture of Thesprotia at 10.30 p.m. on Monday night but no injuries or major damage were reported. TV criticism The National Broadcasting Council (ESR) yesterday expressed its «displeasure at the phenomenon of the commercialization of news reporting,» citing private television channels which gave top billing to a visit to Athens by Greece’s ex-king at the expense of mass anti-war rallies in the capital on the same day, Saturday, Feb. 15. «On that particular day, private television displayed its inability to understand what the State expected from it when it gave it broadcasting rights,» ESR said. Man overboard Coast guard rescue vessels and a military helicopter were yesterday searching for a 30-year-old man who, according to passengers, fell off a ferry as it was approaching the island of Kea off eastern Attica. It is unclear why Dimitris Tatsis fell off the Blue Star Paros at around 11.30 a.m. Winds in the area were between 7 and 8 on the Beaufort scale. Costa-Gavras The Athens Academy yesterday announced it was awarding its fine arts distinction to film director Costa-Gavras. Costa-Gavras is due to collect his prize during an official ceremony at the Athens Academy on March 24. Jumpy neighbor A 62-year-old Greek man fatally shot his 30-year-old Indian neighbor by mistake on Saturday night when he opened fire at random outside his house in Polydendri, Attica, after hearing suspicious noises, police said yesterday. Giorgos Stournaras allegedly shot Jaktis Chander, who had earlier dined with him, after the sound of a dog barking made him think he was about to be burgled. Migrants return A sea-and-air search for a wooden sailing boat – carrying 31 illegal immigrants toward Lesvos and reportedly in danger – was called off yesterday afternoon after the boat was spotted near the Turkish coast, the Merchant Marine Ministry said.