NEWS

In Brief

OLYMPIC SECURITY

Defense minister confident after navy drill tackles mock terror hit Greece may be «the safest place in the world» during the Olympics, Defense Minister Spilios Spiliotopoulos remarked yesterday after watching navy staff participate in a Games-linked exercise off the island of Hydra. The drill, in which three frigates, two missile boats and about 800 navy personnel participated, involved a response to a mock terrorist attack against a Greek warship. Spiliotopoulos observed the exercise from aboard the frigate Spetsai. CYPRUS Papadopoulos to meet UN secretary-general on June 3 Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said yesterday he would be meeting United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York on June 3. Papadopoulos said he was not aware of the content of Annan’s report on the failed UN-brokered Cyprus reunification deal, which the UN chief is due to present on that date. DRUG HAULS Police seize mass of ecstasy, hashish Athens Police yesterday arrested a Nigerian couple in Ano Kypseli after confiscating 18,000 ecstasy pills and 624 grams of cocaine. The drugs had been smuggled from the Netherlands in CD cases, police said. Athens officers also arrested three Albanians and three Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia nationals yesterday for allegedly smuggling 135 kilos of cannabis to Athens from Skopje. Meanwhile, an Albanian was arrested near the Albanian border where he had allegedly gone to collect 94 kilos of cannabis on behalf of an unidentified Greek. And police in Thessaloniki said they had arrested 14 people for drugs following a raid in the city’s Dendropotamo district. Athens railway The new station of Irini on the Piraeus-Kifissia urban electric railway (ISAP) is to start operation on Monday. The temporary station at Iraklion will not be operating at all on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Kifissia-bound platforms at Kato Patissia and Thiseion are to reopen from Monday, while the Piraeus-bound platforms of the same stations close for works. Hit-and-run arrest The captain of a British-flagged speedboat was arrested by coast guards on the island of Corfu yesterday on suspicion of having struck and abandoned a 52-year-old tourist swimming off the island’s northeastern coast on Wednesday. Authorities did not reveal the suspect’s nationality. The 52-year-old swimmer remained in hospital yesterday. AEK damages Supporters of AEK soccer club are responsible for damage to property outside the town hall of the northern Athenian district of Nea Philadelphia shortly before 1 a.m. yesterday, police said. On Wednesday, more than 150 AEK supporters invaded the club’s training ground in Thrakomakedones and assaulted players and journalists. The attack followed Tuesday’s collapse of a bid by former star AEK player Demis Nikolaidis to buy the heavily overdebted club, after players refused to accept massive pay cuts. Heart appeals Managers of Athens’s Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center yesterday appealed for help in locating donors for two boys who need heart transplants. Nicholas, 12, from Piraeus, has had a weak heart since he was just a year old, while Dimitris, 12, from Rhodes, acquired heart problems following an infection and has been at the Onassis Cardiac Center for the past six months, doctors said. Nicholas is on a heart pump and Dimitris is due to have a pacemaker implanted until a donor can be found, doctors said. Gaza protest Palestinian and left-wing groups are to stage a demonstration outside the Israeli Embassy in Athens at 7 p.m. tomorrow in protest against the killing of Palestinian children by Israeli troops in Gaza on Wednesday. Work site death A 26-year-old laborer was electrocuted yesterday while working on a construction site in the northern town of Katerini. The victim, who was not identified, touched a high-voltage electricity cable with a wet board as he was removing a wall cast.