NEWS

In Brief

Coastal development – Controversial bill passed with minor amendments Parliament passed a controversial government bill on coastal development yesterday after minor changes were made to what even Socialist MPs had referred to last week as an Attila-style bill. This time, 140 Socialist MPs backed the bill, while 124 opposition deputies voted against. Afterward, opposition New Democracy accused PASOK of having passed a bill that will allow the illegal use of beaches – which under current legislation must always be open to public access. Members of a citizens’ group for the salvation of the Saronic Gulf coast protested outside Parliament during the vote. Greek ‘godfather’ Italian warrant issued for alleged cigarette smuggler Italian police are searching for a Greek man thought to be connected with a multi-million-euro network dealing in contraband cigarettes, the Athens News Agency reported yesterday. A court in Italy said it regarded Stylianos Kolovos as the head of an international network controlling mainland Greece and supplying Europe. Kolovos’s smuggling business, based in Greece but with branches in Italy, Spain and Britain, reportedly saw a turnover of 266 billion lira over the last 18 months, some of which is believed to have been laundered in Greece. The public prosecutor’s announcement follows a raid, code-named Hellas, which resulted in the arrest of 40 people allegedly dealing in contraband cigarettes. At least three other Greeks are thought to be have been working for Kolovos. Lesvos racism Policemen, villagers charged Two policemen on Mytilene will appear before a police disciplinary committee after an internal investigation found that they illegally arrested and assaulted an Albanian immigrant on the eastern Aegean island in March. Officers Panayiotis Fykias and Panayiotis Protoulis allegedly arrested Arian Hodi and beat him up at a Lesvos police station. Hodi was hospitalized for days as a result. He has since been deported for his involvement in a fight with local bar staff and patrons who, he claimed, discriminated against Albanians. Meanwhile, yesterday, Lesvos police announced that four villagers from Gera have been arrested for beating up and stabbing a group of Albanians outside a nightclub. Two Albanians were hospitalized with knife wounds. Teacher sought. Police in Athens were seeking an Alimos secondary school teacher yesterday after a 12-year-old pupil of his claimed that he sexually abused her. The girl alleged that the 50-year-old geology teacher abused her in his flat yesterday and on Friday. Mother stabbed. A Kavala prosecutor yesterday charged a 23-year-old woman with the attempted murder of her mother after an argument in their home in the nearby village of Amisiana on Monday. Anna Thymianou, who will be remanded in Korydallos prison today pending trial, allegedly stabbed her 64-year-old mother, Maria, in the neck with a kitchen knife. According to one report, it was because she disliked her mother’s cooking. She then went to the village cafe and told her father what she had done. Yesterday the mother’s condition was described as critical. Robbers thwarted. Would-be robbers who broke into the Kypseli branch of the Agricultural Bank early yesterday failed to break open the bank’s safe and ATM. Police said the intruders managed to force through the barred window at the rear of the bank, deactivate the alarm and sever the telephone lines, but were unable to gain access to the bank’s money. Their efforts, however, reportedly caused considerable damage to the branch. Body released. The body of a woman that had lain for a week in a Thessaloniki hospital morgue was to be buried yesterday, after the Thessaloniki prosecutor’s office ordered its release to her friends. Thessaloniki’s AHEPA hospital had refused to release the body to anyone but relatives, as stipulated by law. Amalia Tsitsirika, who died last week at the age of 74, was unmarried and had no immediate family. Human traffickers. The two crew members of the US-flagged yacht Dove were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and an 88-million-drachma fine after a Halkida court yesterday convicted them of attempting to land 89 illegal immigrants on the island of Evia last Friday. They are Valery Nosov and Alexander Petrov. The effort – spearheaded by Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou – seeks to revive the ancient tradition of suspending conflicts during the Olympics.