NEWS

In Brief

KARACHI FIVE

Euro Parliament demands direct release of crew of Tasman Spirit The European Parliament yesterday demanded that the Pakistani government immediately release the five Greek crew members – who remain under house arrest in Karachi – of the Tasman Spirit tanker, which broke apart off Pakistan last August, causing extensive pollution. «The continued detention of these individuals is unacceptable,» said the statement, which also referred to last month’s attempted suicide by one of the crew members. «Parliament notes that the causes of the accident are still to be determined but that the ship was under the orders of a local pilot at the time,» it said. ELA TRIAL Trade unionist Yiannis Serifis refuses to testify, says being scapegoated Veteran trade unionist Yiannis Serifis yesterday visited the office of the investigating magistrate after being summoned in connection with a fatal 1994 bombing carried out by the Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA) terror group, but refused to testify, charging that he was being scapegoated due to his political beliefs. In December, Serifis was cleared of November 17 membership. OLYMPIC AIRLINES Flight attendants end 76-day strike Olympic Airlines flight attendants yesterday ended 76 days of strike action after unionists reached a compromise with OA management regarding the transfer of staff to the new streamlined firm. The strike did not affect flights, as Olympic hired temporary staff. Election funds The interior and economy ministers yesterday revealed the sums that each political party will be receiving in state funding for the forthcoming general elections. The sums are 2.44 million euros for PASOK, 2.38 million for New Democracy, 308,266 euros for the Communist Party, 178,799 euros for Left Coalition Synaspismos and 150,075 euros for the Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI). Ecstasy convictions A Thessaloniki court yesterday passed down life sentences on two 31-year-old Bulgarians found guilty of smuggling more than 4,500 ecstasy tablets into Greece. Georgi Constantinov and Alexander Vassiliev were arrested last month after bringing the drugs into the country via Igoumenitsa. Salonica blast A homemade gas-canister bomb exploded under a small truck belonging to a private security firm in central Thessaloniki early yesterday morning, causing around 3,000 euros’ worth of damage. It was the 10th such attack in the northern city this year. Emergency landing A Czech Airlines aircraft, carrying 115 passengers, was forced to make an emergency landing at Thessaloniki’s international airport early yesterday morning after suffering engine trouble. The aircraft, which was bound for Prague from Thessaloniki, landed just a few minutes after its 5.15 a.m. takeoff. Nobody was hurt. Iraklion station The Kifissia-bound platform of Iraklion station on the Piraeus-Kifissia urban electric railway (ISAP) will be closed on Saturday as renovation work gets under way. Commuters can use the temporary station between Iraklion and Irini. Bill swindle A Thessaloniki betting shop manager has been indicted for allegedly retaining nearly 50,000 euros from bills paid to the city’s water and sewage company, police said yesterday. The man, identified only as E.F., received a total of 49,841 euros in various water bills between February 22 and March 8, 2001 but allegedly pocketed the cash instead of forwarding it to the water firm. Hit and run The corpse of a man aged around 40, discovered in a flower bed next to a road in the coastal suburb of Glyfada early yesterday morning, was probably the victim of a hit-and-run accident, a coroner said. The man, who was most likely a foreigner and apparently a beggar, had probably been dragged into the flower bed by the driver who hit him, police said.