NEWS

In Brief

CHURCH BENEFITS

Archbishop calls for tax breaks for Church-backed welfare institutions Archbishop Christodoulos, during a visit on Monday to the Hariseio old people’s home in Thessaloniki, called for tax on public welfare institutions backed by the Church of Greece to be waived or at least reduced. Normally, the State should recognize the contribution being made by institutions such as the Hariseio and exempt them from tax obligations, Christodoulos said. He noted that although the Hariseio was currently operating smoothly, many such institutions risk closure due to the excessive tax burden they face. MURDER PROBE Woman, 50, found dead in Plaka flat; police questioning her male companion Police in Athens yesterday detained the male companion of a 50-year-old businesswoman after he told them he found her dead in her Plaka apartment a few hours after they had been drinking there together. The unnamed man told police he found Harikleia Siopi dead on her bed in her seventh-floor apartment just before 4 a.m. Police decided to question him after a coroner confirmed that the Siopi’s body bore injuries – the nature of which was unclear. The man had consumed large amounts of alcohol, according to police. BANK RAID Robbers steal 260,000 euros Two armed robbers made off with 260,000 euros after raiding a bank in central Omonia early on Monday morning, police in Athens said. The masked men had set up an ambush outside the bank branch before following two employees into the premises at 7.20 a.m. and forcing them to empty the safe, police said. Thessaloniki blasts Two gas-canister bombs caused minor damage when they exploded outside a branch of the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) in Thessaloniki’s Kalamaria district and aboard an empty tourist coach parked near the Alexandreio Melathro sports center early yesterday morning. Nobody was hurt. Container death A man was burned to death early yesterday morning after a fire broke out in a ship’s container in which he was living in an open area in Pallini, on the northeastern outskirts of Athens. The cause of the fire was unclear. The man was not identified but is believed to be an immigrant. Prison unrest Police officers were called to Korydallos Prison on Saturday to quell an uprising in the women’s wing by inmates resisting cell inspections by wardens. Officers remained on standby outside the jail on Saturday night after ending a dispute between the women – who also object to the imposition of the prison’s winter schedule, which obliges them to return to their cells at 8.30 p.m. rather than at 10 p.m. – and the wardens. Extra prison staff from the men’s wing were assigned to keep tempers in check. Fire damages Hania Prefect Giorgos Katsanevakis on Saturday sent a memorandum to Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis requesting the allocation of an initial 7 million euros in state aid to go toward repairs and compensation following the widespread damage wreaked across the prefecture by a string of forest fires last Thursday and Friday. Bomb hoax Police who yesterday conducted a controlled explosion on a suspected bomb planted in a car outside the television channel Teleasti in the Athenian district of Kallithea destroyed nothing more than a package containing a Greek flag and various pre-election campaign publications. This followed a telephone threat by a caller claiming to represent an anarchist group. Bus hits car Five people were hospitalized with minor injuries in Athens yesterday morning after the Glyfada-bound bus they were in crashed into a passenger car in front of the go-cart track at the Olympic Sports Center in Aghios Cosmas. Iraklion flag What was billed as the largest flag in Greece was raised in the Cretan port of Iraklion yesterday to mark the «Ohi Day» national holiday. The flag, which has a surface area of 745.5 square meters, was raised by crane at the port’s jetty.