NEWS

In Brief

STOCKS DIVE

Bourse head stresses bear run prompted by Madrid outrage The Athens Stock Exchange took a drubbing yesterday, with the benchmark general share index losing a total 2.49 percent. This prompted bourse Chairman Panayiotis Alexakis to take the unusual step of issuing a statement attributing the drop to fallout from the terrorist bomb attacks in Madrid. «There is no unsettling data regarding the country’s economy and the listed companies,» Alexakis said, advising investors to stay calm and «avoid hasty action.» CYPRIOT ANTIQUITIES Nicosia tables suit in German court over smuggled antiquities The Cypriot government has tabled a suit in a Munich court seeking the return of a large group of antiquities illegally excavated in the island’s Turkish-occupied north and smuggled to Germany, the Athens News Agency reported from Nicosia yesterday. The ancient artifacts, which were allegedly taken out of Cyprus by a Turkish antiquities smuggler in collusion with Turkish-Cypriot officials, were seized by German authorities in Munich in 1997. Since then, diplomatic efforts by Nicosia have failed to persuade the Germans to relinquish the finds. HELANDARI FIRE Prince of Wales voices sorrow The Prince of Wales has written to authorities in the Mount Athos monastic community to express his shock and sorrow at the destruction caused to the 800-year-old Helandari Monastery by a fire last week, sources said yesterday. At least half the monastery complex, which is run by Serb monks, was destroyed in the blaze that broke out early on Thursday, although a collection of centuries-old icons, heirlooms and religious relics was saved. Charles, who has visited Mount Athos several times in the past few years, promised to help the restoration effort, the sources said. Policeman shot A police bomb disposal expert serving at the Eleftherios Venizelos Airport was found severely injured with a stomach gunshot wound yesterday evening on the corner of Epaminonda and Taxiarchon streets in Monastiraki, central Athens. Minas Minas, 27, underwent surgery at the Erythros Stavros Hospital, where his condition was described as serious. Police are questioning a sailor found close to the wounded man, who claimed he saw Minas accidentally shoot himself with his service revolver. Prison food Piraeus public health authorities yesterday confiscated 400 tons of frozen beef unsuitable for human consumption that was headed for the Korydallos Prison’s women’s section. The meat was found to have been unfrozen and then frozen again. Apostolidis Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos yesterday expressed his sorrow at the death, at the age of 80 on Wednesday, of literary critic and novelist Renos Apostolidis. «Renos Apostolidis was a free, uncompromising and deeply intellectual man,» Roussopoulos said. «His sharp and caustic writing, his significant literary work and his tireless fight against any abuse of power will be the heritage of future generations.» The funeral will be at 3.30 p.m. today, at the Papagou cemetery. There will be no religious ceremony. Cigarette shortfall A cigarette warehouse employee has been charged with stealing 21,383 packs of cigarettes from northern Greece’s SEKAP tobacco industry between 2001 and 2002, court sources said yesterday. The 43-year-old suspect, an ethnic Greek from Kazakhstan, had worked for SEKAP since 1983. Bus shot A woman passenger, Georgia Spyropoulou, was slightly injured on Wednesday night when an unidentified assailant shot at the windows of a city bus with an airgun on Tzavella Street in the Piraeus suburb of Nikaia. Spyropoulou was stung by pellets and other passengers panicked. Several weeks ago, a schoolboy was arrested on suspicion of firing pellets at a bus and was later released. Copy cat A 21-year-old student in Thessaloniki has been charged with forgery, fraud, theft and making false statements for allegedly stealing a fellow student’s identity card and using it to withdraw some 8,000 euros from a joint account the victim had with his parents, police said.