NEWS

In Brief

WEEKEND EXODUS

Traffic jams on national roads as Athenians start leaving the capital As the first wave of the exodus for the long weekend began yesterday afternoon, traffic police monitored key junctions of the national road network to prevent traffic jams. The Athens-Corinth national road was particularly badly affected, especially at Elefsina and at Kakia Skala, where an extra lane of traffic was opened. The measures, which will apply today and tomorrow, will also be implemented for traffic entering the capital from early Monday morning. SALONICA BLAST Gas canister bomb damages car in 13th attack in the city this year A homemade gas-canister bomb, placed under a car belonging to an employee of the European Center for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP), caused minor damage to the vehicle when it exploded in the early hours of yesterday morning. Police had originally said that the car belonged to a British Consulate official. The blast is the 13th in Thessaloniki so far this year. SHOWY ROBBER Man, 35, used jeep as getaway car Police in Attica yesterday said they had arrested a 35-year-old man who allegedly stole 15,300 euros from a bank in the Athenian district of Pefki on Wednesday before fleeing in a luxury jeep paid for with the proceeds of previous bank robberies. Police, who tracked down the suspect thanks to his brand-new vehicle, discovered that he had netted 124,000 euros in another four bank raids, three of which had been at the same branch of a bank in Vrilissia. Store times Grocery stores and minimarkets will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday. But supermarkets in Athens and most other cities will be closed in observation of the Clean Monday holiday (the first day of Lent). Kite warning The Public Power Corporation (PPC) yesterday warned Greeks planning to engage in the traditional Clean Monday custom of kite-flying to ensure they steer clear of electricity cables and pylons due to the risk of electrocution. If a kite should become stuck in power cables, no attempt should be made to free it, the PPC said. More contenders Two more political parties yesterday officially declared their participation in the March 7 general elections at the Supreme Court Prosecutor’s Office. The declarations, by the Democratic Social Movement (DIKKI) and a party called New Dictatorship, bring the total number of election contenders to 20. Soft targets A 23-year-old man was arrested yesterday on suspicion of having stolen around 30,000 euros in cash and electrical appliances worth over 25,000 euros over the past four months from the prefabricated homes of people made homeless by the 1999 Athens earthquake in the northwestern suburbs of Fyli and Ano Liosia. ATM gang Unidentified thieves raided one ATM machine and removed another altogether from different parts of eastern Attica yesterday. The second machine was stolen from outside the Vassilopoulos supermarket on Spaton Avenue, probably by three people using a truck, police said. The plundering of the first machine outside the Jumbo toy store on Varis-Koropiou Avenue was probably the work of the same trio, according to police. Correction Kathimerini English Edition mistakenly referred to Slovenian Prime Minister Anton Rop as the Slovakian premier in the lead article of yesterday’s edition. Mr Rop was not in Athens during yesterday’s European People’s Party meeting, which was attended by Slovakian PM Mikulas Dzurinda.