NEWS

In Brief

GULF SUMMIT

Saddam must move now to avert Iraqi conflict, Papandreou says There is still time to avoid a conflict in Iraq if President Saddam Hussein makes a dramatic move to disarm, Foreign Minister George Papandreou said yesterday following talks with members of the Gulf Cooperation Council in the Qatari capital of Doha. The European Union would prefer a peaceful solution to the Iraqi crisis but has not ruled out sanctioning military intervention as a last resort, according to Papandreou, who was representing the Greek EU presidency at the talks. HELICOPTER CRASH Fuselage, tail sent to Piraeus, experts say they can confirm cause The fuselage and tail section of a National First Aid Center (EKAB) helicopter that crashed off Icaria last month were sent to Piraeus by ferry yesterday, where experts are to analyze them to determine what caused the crash that killed all four passengers. The wreckage of the Agusta A109E was located last Wednesday 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) off the island at a depth of 75 meters, eight days after it disappeared while on a mercy flight. Experts say the helicopter parts are in a good enough condition for them to establish what caused the crash. ELEVATOR ACCIDENT Eight hurt in 3-floor plunge Eight people sustained minor injuries yesterday morning after a Piraeus hospital elevator they were in plunged three floors when the wire cables supporting it slackened. The seven visitors and two staff in the elevator (one was unscathed) would have had worse injuries had an emergency braking mechanism not slammed into action just before it was due to reach the third basement of the Metaxa anti-cancer hospital. Aeolou works Works to redesign the section of central Aeolou Street between Sophocleous and Stadiou streets will disrupt traffic in the area when they begin tomorrow, the company implementing the unification of archaeological sites in Athens (EAXA) said yesterday. The 210-meter section of road will be reshaped to allow the display of neighboring archaeological finds, EAXA said, adding the work should be completed by September. Squatters Police yesterday arrested four Kurdish men suspected of beating a 56-year-old Greek man to death in the Peloponnesian town of Argos. Police said the man was found gagged and chained at his home on Sunday. Authorities did not identify the victim or the suspects, but said the four men had been squatting in the victim’s home. Police said he had been chained, bound with wire and then beaten to death. (AP) Security failure An unidentified man yesterday made off with 100,000 euros after spraying a security guard in the face outside a Kifissia bank and grabbing the cash box he was carrying. The hooded robber fled on the back of a motorcycle driven by an accomplice. It is unclear what the spray contained. Roadworks Construction work which started yesterday on the bridge at the Karaiskaki Stadium in Faliron, southern Athens, will affect traffic in both directions between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. daily until Sunday, the Public Works Ministry said yesterday. Bank robbery Unidentified intruders, who stole a total of 100,000 euros from a bank in central Athens over the weekend, broke into the Commercial Bank branch by boring through offices of a neighboring building, police said yesterday. The robbers opened the bank’s central safe and ATM machine on Ippocratous Street, using a blowtorch some time between Friday evening and early yesterday morning, police said. Water rates Water rates are to increase by 2.5 percent from April 1, according to a joint ministerial decision made public yesterday. Smuggler jailed A court in Alexandroupolis, northern Greece, has sentenced a 30-year-old Turkish national to four years and 10 months in jail, in a ruling made public yesterday. A fisherman spotted Yianik Kantir in a plastic boat, with five illegal immigrants, near the islet of Zourafa, off the northern port. Kantir, who was also fined 35,500 euros, was a member of a smuggling ring, the court heard.