NEWS

In Brief

MAY DAY

Rallies to express workers’ anti-war stance, unions say Thursday’s May Day demonstrations will include a strong anti-war theme, according to organizers including the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE), the Civil Servants’ Union (ADEDY) and the Athens Labor Center. The rally, which begins at 10.30 a.m. at central Syntagma Square, will also be attended by members of the Greek arm of the European Social Forum and other anti-war groups. The Communist Party-backed Workers’ Militant Front (PAME) is organizing a separate rally at 10.30 a.m. at Pedion Tou Areos. ‘MUFTI’ ATTACKED Muslim leader hit with coat hanger A member of Xanthi’s Muslim minority – who has repeatedly claimed to be the legitimate local religious leader, as opposed to the mufti appointed by the Greek state – was hospitalized with minor head wounds on Friday after being attacked in his home near the northern city by a fellow-Muslim wielding a coat hanger. Mehmet Emin Aga, 71, was attacked by a 48-year-old man from the same area, police said. A Council of State ruling made public last July rejected a suit filed by Aga, finding it entirely legal that Muslim leaders in Greece should be appointed by the government rather than elected by local Muslims. Fatal brawl A violent brawl between two groups of Albanians yesterday inside a student coffee shop in the central Athenian district of Exarchia resulted in the death of one of the men. An altercation began after a pair of Albanians joined three others sitting at a table inside the cafe on Solomou Street, and escalated with punches and chairs being thrown before one of the Albanians fired a handgun, fatally injuring one of his adversaries, police said. The four men fled on foot. Constantine leaves Former king Constantine and his family are due to return to London, via Vienna, today following their five-day trip to the northwestern city of Ioannina where they celebrated Orthodox Easter. The ex-king was received in Ioannina by a mixture of well wishers and hecklers. Yesterday, Constantine, 62, said he would be returning to Greece, with his family, in around three weeks’ time. Cannabis A 42-year-old Belgian woman was arrested on Friday after a search of her car at the Greek-Albanian border unearthed 43 kilograms of cannabis, police said. The woman’s name was not made public. Forged euros Two forged 200-euro notes have been deposited, by unidentified individuals, at two banks in the northeastern town of Kavala, police said on Saturday. Passaris Covered in a blanket, one of Greece’s most wanted criminals, Costas Passaris, 27, is escorted by Romanian special police officers into a Bucharest court on Friday. Passaris, who is wanted for the Athens murder of two policemen, was arrested in Romania in November 2001 after allegedly killing two people during a robbery in a Bucharest foreign exchange shop. Flares arrest Port police in Corfu arrested a Romanian national early yesterday morning for letting off two parachute flares (used as distress signals) in the absence of any danger. Abi Elver was among the crew of the Panama-flagged Sea Dream, which was anchored in a small bay used by the Ionian island’s yacht club.