NEWS

In Brief

OLYMPIC DRILL

Three-day exercise to simulate terrorist attack during Games Military units as well as police, coast guard and fire brigade officers are to participate in a three-day pre-Olympics security exercise from February 6 in Piraeus and Palaia Fokaia in southern Attica. The drill, code-named «Blue Odyssey,» is to be based on a theoretical terrorist attack involving a hostage crisis at sea and the use of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. British advisers will be participating, as well as observers from the US, Germany, France, Spain, Australia and Israel. UNWELCOME ATTENTION Turkish corvette hovers at sea border near Prinos oil field A Turkish navy corvette, spotted in international waters near the Prinos oil field off the island of Thasos yesterday morning by fishermen who alerted the coast guard, retreated after coast guard patrol vessels and a gunboat arrived on the scene. The vessel turned back toward Turkey after stopping a few hundred meters from Greek waters, according to officials who called the incident «insubstantial and unworthy of attention.» They added, however, that the ship’s appearance could have been linked to oil drilling in Greek waters. HIGHWAY PROTEST Farmers driven off Athens-Patras road Traffic returned to normal on the Athens-Patras national road yesterday after riot police forced olive growers demanding higher subsidy payments to withdraw tractors and other vehicles they had parked on the road near Aigion, in the northern Peloponnese. Winter sales The winter shop sales begin tomorrow, and will continue until the end of February. Electoral law The government yesterday withdrew an amendment from new electoral legislation that would have resulted in the division of the large Greater Athens (Athens B) and Attica constituencies. The proposal had been especially unpopular with ruling PASOK deputies elected in these constituencies. Attack thwarted A homemade explosive device, planted in front of the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) offices in Thessaloniki’s Kalamaria district early yesterday, failed to detonate. The incident followed three successful such attacks in the northern city this year, believed to have been the work of anarchists. Truce dispute Foreign Minister George Papandreou yesterday appealed to all political parties to back his effort to declare February 25 International Olympic Truce Day. Opposition New Democracy said that, although it supports the idea, implementation should wait until after the March 7 elections. The Communist Party and Synaspismos Left Coalition both dismissed the proposal as hypocritical since the government did not condemn the US-led war in Iraq. Briton cleared A Patras appeals court yesterday overturned an 11-year prison sentence which had been handed down to a British truck driver found guilty of human smuggling. Londoner David Wilson, 43, was arrested last March after police discovered 19 Kurdish illegal immigrants hidden in his vehicle as it was about to board a ferry from Patras to Italy. He said the migrants had sneaked into his truck without him knowing. Athens murder Police were yesterday investigating the shotgun murder of a 40-year-old man whose body was found at the junction of Chrysospiliotissis and Aghiou Markou streets in central Athens, late on Monday night. Dimitris Doulos had been shot in the chest. Gas station deaths Two people were killed yesterday afternoon when a fuel tanker veered off a country road near Ancient Corinth and crashed into a gas station. The truck hit a car at the gas station, which in turn fatally struck station owner Constantinos Senis, 65, before the gas station shelter collapsed, fatally crushing the car driver, who was not identified. Drugs in jail The mother of a 24-year-old Albanian inmate in Korydallos Prison was arrested yesterday after trying to smuggle 70 grams of heroin to her son by in a plastic box containing cooked spaghetti, the Justice Ministry said.