NEWS

In Brief

Large increases in the prices of fresh fruit and vegetables caused inflation to rise 0.4 percent to 3.8 percent in May from 3.4 percent in April, the National Statistics Service said yesterday, noting that the price of fresh fruit and potatoes rose by 17.5 percent in May. These increases offset the positive impact on inflation of a 3.8 percent fall in fuel prices last month, the service said. AFGHAN BOMB Greek presidency denounces Saturday’s suicide attack The Foreign Ministry, representing Greece as European Union president, yesterday expressed its «abhorrence» at Saturday’s suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan that killed four German peacekeeping soldiers and seriously injured another seven. «The (EU) presidency wishes to reiterate… its unswerving determination to remain engaged in the long and arduous process of Afghanistan’s reconstruction and its transformation into a stable and democratic state,» the ministry said in its statement. THIRD LIGHTNING DEATH Farmer killed in northern Greece A 45-year-old farmer died after being struck by lightning while grazing his sheep in his village in the northern prefecture of Serres on Sunday afternoon, police said yesterday. The death of Giorgos Merachtsis, on a stretch of farmland at the village of Oreini, is the third such death in just over a week. Last week a 17-year-old shepherd from Metsovo, and a 61-year-old farmer from Grevena, Macedonia, died after being struck by lightning. Fake euros Two couples of immigrants from Kazakhstan have been arrested on the island of Rhodes for using forged euro notes to make their purchases from local shops, police said yesterday. The four, whose names were not made public, had allegedly already used 26 counterfeit 200-euro notes by their arrest during the weekend, and were found in possession of another 17 forgeries. Madrid stabbing A 32-year-old Greek tourist from Thessaloniki was fatally stabbed by two young muggers on Sunday afternoon in front of the Spanish Parliament building in Madrid, reports from the Spanish capital said yesterday. The woman, identified only as Chrysanthe P., was stabbed in the chest after resisting attempts by the two youths to grab her handbag, according to local police, who subsequently arrested two Moroccans. A medical team came to the scene immediately but could do nothing to save her, police said. At the time of the attack, the woman was with her husband, who was in Madrid for an ophthalmology conference. WWII massacre Deputy Defense Minister Loukas Apostolidis is today due to visit the village of Distomo, near Delphi in central Greece, for a memorial ceremony in honor of the 214 local villagers slaughtered by German occupation troops on June 10, 1944, in one of the most savage World War II atrocities in Greece. Teacher suspended Education Minister Petros Efthymiou yesterday ordered the suspension of a 40-year-old teacher arrested on Sunday for alleged heroin trafficking. The teacher, who was not named, has been referred to a disciplinary committee, which is to decide on whether to dismiss him. Cannabis haul Police from the Peloponnesian prefecture of Messinia yesterday arrested two men from Kalamata – C.K., 56, and S.D., 20 – for allegedly cultivating hundreds of cannabis plants near the village of Nedousa on Mount Taygetos. A special team yesterday was uprooting the 354 trees. Migrants detained Port Authority officials on Lesvos yesterday detained a total of nine illegal immigrants who had reached the Aegean island from neighboring Turkey in two separate groups, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The first group – comprising two Iranians and one Palestinian – were found on the northern shore of Tsonia in the early hours, while the second group, all Somalis, were spotted off the island’s coast in two inflatable rowboats, the ministry said.