NEWS

In Brief

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

Reception center pledged in Evros A regional reception center for illegal immigrants is to be established near the border village of Filakio in Evros, the Interior Ministry’s general secretary, Athanassios Veziryiannis, said yesterday. A committee will be created to monitor the center which will accommodate migrants until their repatriation, Veziryiannis said, adding that the center was due to be ready in January. Yesterday, 22 illegal immigrants were detained on Samos, which they had reached by boat from neighboring Turkey. Also yesterday, Agence France-Presse quoted Turkish officials as saying nearly half a million would-be migrants have been intercepted in Turkey in the past five years. Riding death A four-year-old boy was fatally injured yesterday after being dragged more than 100 meters by a donkey in the village of Melitena near Komotini, the Athens News Agency reported. Ersen Hussein had been unable to disentangle himself after the animal broke into a canter shortly after he had mounted it, the ANA said. Athens fire Three thousand square metres of pine forest were burnt during a blaze in the Kokinara streambed in Politeia, northern Athens, on Saturday. Four firefighting aircraft, two helicopters and 25 fire engines took part in the effort to extinguish the blaze. Today there is a very high risk of fire in the areas of Attica, Viotia, Fthiotida, Evia, Lesvos, Samos, Chios, the Cyclades, Hania, Rethymnon, Corinth, Argolida, Arcadia and Laconia, according to the General Secretariat for Civil Defense, which yesterday warned local authorities and fire service units to be on standby. Regatta postponed The launch of the annual Aegean Regatta has been postponed until tomorrow due to strong winds, which at times exceeded 8 on the Beaufort scale and are forecast to reach 9 Beaufort today, the Aegean Ministry said yesterday. The regatta had been due to begin yesterday morning. Also, the regatta’s first stop will be Samos rather than Chios, as had been originally planned, the ministry said. A total of 74 vessels will be participating in this year’s regatta.