NEWS

In Brief

SCHOOLS FINED

Ministry cracks down on 7 private institutions for ‘excessive’ fees Seven private schools have been fined between 5,000 and 80,000 euros for illegally large increases to their fees last year, the Development Ministry said yesterday. The schools – Kosteas-Geitonas, G. Malliaras, Saint Joseph, Lycee Leonin d’ Athenes, Jeanne d’Arc, G. Zoi and Aghios Pavlos-D. Varthalitis – were fined for increasing their fees from 3.9 percent to 20 percent – instead of a recommended 3.5 percent. Kosteas-Geitonas School in Athens was the hardest hit with a fine of 80,000 euros. POST OFFICE Minister opens first 24-hour, self-service branch in Athens Transport and Communications Minister Christos Verelis yesterday inaugurated the capital’s first 24-hour post office at the central Aeolou St branch. Customers will be able to visit the branch at any time, day or night, to pay their bills at an automated machine; use the post office ATM for withdrawals, deposits and credit card payments; weigh and price letters and small packages on a special machine and to access their PO boxes. Other post offices will soon adopt the same system the Greek Postal Service said yesterday. GIRL’S MURDERER Ioannina man gets life for killing child A court in the northwestern town of Preveza yesterday sentenced a 36-year-old metalworker to life in jail after ruling that he was in a tranquil state of mind when he killed an 11-year-old girl in his store in Ioannina last May. Christos Kolovos reiterated his original claim that he had strangled Maria Didaskalou after his grandparents urged him in a dream to «make a sacrifice.» Roadworks Athens traffic bound for Alimos on the coastal Poseidonos Avenue will face disruptions from tomorrow until Monday as work to complete the Alimos intersection gets under way. Quake damage A total of 11 houses in the village of Gonnoi near Larissa, the epicentre of a 5.4-Richter earthquake on Monday, are to be bulldozed and another 58 have been deemed temporarily uninhabitable, Gonnoi’s mayor told Kathimerini yesterday. The local school and three churches have also been cordoned off, according to Christos Karanastasis. Kidnappers An Athens court yesterday passed down 25-year jail sentences on brothers Christoforos and Petros Lasithiotakis after deeming them the chief culprits in the abduction of 34-year-old businessman Yiannis Zonas in October 2001. Accomplices Albert Norusnia and Eleni Marouli were sentenced to 10 years each in jail. Zonas was released two months after his abduction when his father paid a ransom of 450 million drachmas (1.32 million euros). Voula buses Transport and Communications Minister Christos Verelis yesterday ordered the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA) to resume normal operation of the Piraeus-Voula and Athens-Voula bus routes after the route terminuses were moved away from in front of the local town hall last week, the ministry said. Voula municipal authorities had moved the terminuses without warning, claiming that a private firm was renting out the space as a car park, according to bus firm employees. Verelis asked municipal authorities to reinstate the bus terminuses by June 20. Forged euros Police on Rhodes were yesterday holding a 23-year-old native Greek from Russia for allegedly supplying two Kazakhstani couples with 45 forged euro bills to use on the island. Officers confiscated 382 fake 200-euro bills in a flat Giorgos Pilides, a resident of Aspropyrgos, was renting on the island. Runaway children A 5-year-old Cypriot boy was yesterday in critical condition after being involved in a crash in car being driven by his 12-year-old brother. The eldest sibling hit an 80-year-old pedestrian, injuring him slightly, before colliding into a wall after taking his brother and 3-year-old sister for a spin in their father’s car around their hometown of Larnaca, police said. The three children had been in the care of their uncle as their father is a psychopath and their mother is in the hospital, according to police.