In Brief


Don’t worry, government says Cases of flu reported in the press recently are ordinary respiratory infections and do not in any way constitute an epidemic, according to an announcement by the Health Ministry on Saturday. A case recorded at the Aglaia Kyriakou Children’s Hospital last week had not been confirmed by tests at any of the officially recognized laboratories as being of a new type of flu, said the announcement. Church suicide One of three employees of the Archdiocese of the Church of Cyprus charged with mismanagement of funds has been found dead, apparently having committed suicide. The body of Ilias Dimitriou, 54, was found yesterday at a building site near his home in Cyprus, his shotgun by his side. Fugitive A manhunt is under way in the prefecture of Trikala for Nikos Palaiocostas, who escaped from Korydallos Prison with his brother Vassilis in 1990. A patrol sighted him in the district of Pertouli yesterday. Palaiocostas escaped in a jeep after exchanging fire with police. He and his brother were also being sought by the FBI for the 1990 kidnapping of businessman Alexandros Haitoglou in Thessaloniki. His brother Vassilis was caught after being involved in a car accident. Arson attack The offices of the construction firm Betanet in Halandri, northern Athens, were attacked by arsonists early Sunday. A man called Athens’s Skai radio station shortly afterward claiming the Revolutionary Liberation Action had targeted the firm because it had constructed the special courtroom used for the November 17 terrorism trial which ended last week. Contraband Koropi police in eastern Attica have discovered a cache of 800,400 contraband cigarettes in a warehouse in the district of Boumountsana and arrested two Greeks, aged 45 and 36, and a 25-year-old Albanian. They are also seeking a man identified as Evgenios Sourvaris and two more people. Couple shot A couple underwent surgery after being shot outside their home in the village of Schinia, Monofatsio on the island of Crete early Saturday. Emmanouil Zamboulakis and his wife Maria were shot by two youths apparently searching for the couple’s son after an argument. Unsuccessful robbery Two unidentified men tried to rob a jewelry store in Nea Ionia, Athens, yesterday but shot into the air and ran off when owner, Pantelis Koulepoglou, 52, resisted. Koulepoglou was slightly injured by falling glass. Christmas shopping Shops in Athens and Thessaloniki will be open today and tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., on Christmas Eve (December 24) and Saturday (December 27) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on New Year’s Eve (December 31). Shops will be closed on Christmas Day (December 25) and Boxing Day (December 26), as well as on Sunday, December 28, New Year’s Day and Friday, January 2. On Saturday, January 3, shopping hours return to the pre-Christmas schedule.