NEWS

In Brief

ASPROPYRGOS CLASHES

Gypsies meet new attack with shots, 12 charged over Monday’s violence Dozens of ethnic Greeks from the former Soviet Union yesterday launched a second attack on a Gypsy settlement in Aspropyrgos, on the northwestern outskirts of Athens, despite police intervention following Monday night’s rampage. The assailants, who attacked with axes, sticks and knives and tried to burn shacks, were scared off by Gypsies who fired gunshots at them, according to police who did not find any of the attackers. Meanwhile, 12 men allegedly involved in Monday night’s attack – in which four cars and three shacks were burnt – were charged yesterday with arson, causing damage to property and grievous bodily harm. Police believe Monday’s attack was carried out in revenge for Sunday’s beating of an Aspropyrgos coffee shop owner, allegedly by local Gypsies who did not want to pay their bill. The man was an ethnic Greek immigrant from the Black Sea area. MIGRANTS AND JEWS Church leader draws a line, calls for fight against anti-Semitism Archbishop Christodoulos yesterday drew a clear distinction between European Jews, who he said contributed to the continent’s culture, and immigrants, and called for a campaign against anti-Semitism. Speaking at a meeting in Athens of NATO military clerics, the head of the Church of Greece said: «I believe that it is a mistake to put the Jewish people into the same melting pot [as immigrants]… They have lived with us for centuries… have actively contributed to all facets of our culture… and are not victims of social exclusion. If we want to establish an environment of cooperation with the Jewish people, we must fight anti-Semitism.» FERRY FRACAS Students occupy ship over fares A group of more than 300 students from the University of the Aegean on Rhodes yesterday occupied a passenger ferry due to leave the island for Piraeus in protest at the ferry owner’s decision to scrap the 50 percent discount students had previously enjoyed on tickets for the Rhodes-Piraeus route. Port Authority officials were mobilized as hundreds of passengers waited to board the ship, but the students left the ferry without causing any trouble. Representatives of the Strintzis Lines firm, which stopped its student discounts on January 1, said they would consider the students’ appeal. Station closed Piraeus railway station will be closed on Saturday due to works, the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) said yesterday. Passengers planning to travel to or from Piraeus should use Larissis station instead, OSE said. Wholesalers indicted Deputy Development Minister Kimon Koulouris said yesterday he has filed a suit against two fruit and vegetable wholesalers who allegedly sold potatoes at more than five times the price they had paid for them. The two traders had allegedly bought the potatoes for 12 cents per kilo and sold them for up to 65 cents per kilo, Koulouris said, adding that state checks on overpricing and profiteering were being intensified. Bus crash A crash between a car and a kindergarten bus in the Athenian suburb of Aghia Paraskevi yesterday resulted in one of the 15 children on the bus sustaining minor injuries. The remaining passengers were unscathed. All had been wearing their seat belts when the car slammed into the bus after illegally overtaking another car. Fisherman missing Two Super Puma rescue aircraft and coast guard patrol boats were yesterday scouring the area between the islands of Aegina and Salamina for signs of a 65-year-old fisherman missing since the morning after falling into the sea off the bow of his fishing boat. Yiannis Diplaris had been heading for Salamina. Migrants intercepted Coast guards on Lesvos on Monday detained two illegal immigrants who had rowed over to the eastern Aegean island from neighboring Turkey in an inflatable dinghy, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday.