NEWS

In Brief

PELION SIEGE

Police circle house after farmer shoots officer Police last night surrounded a house outside the village of Zagora, on Mount Pelion, where 45-year-old farmer Dimitris Kallios had locked himself in after shooting an officer. Kallios is wanted for shooting 42-year-old Vassilis Spanos in the eye with a hunting rifle, at 9.45 a.m. yesterday morning, severely injuring the officer. Spanos was one of four policeman accompanying OTE Telecoms technicians who went to replace two telephone poles near Kallios’s house that he is said to have cut down with a chainsaw, as he objected to their presence. Spanos was treated in a Volos hospital with non life-threatening injuries. Kallios’s mother and brother were believed to be in the house with him. CHIOS MIGRANTS Twelve illegal immigrants try to sail to Greece in toy dinghies Coast guards off the eastern Aegean island of Chios yesterday picked up 12 illegal immigrants who tried to cross to Greece from Turkey in two children’s dinghies, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The immigrants – nine men, one woman and two children – sailed from the Turkish port of Cesme. MOBILITY WEEK Free public transport today Public transport will be free from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Athens today on the occasion of «In Town without My Car» Day, which is part of European Mobility week, Transport Minister Michalis Liapis announced yesterday. Sudden death A 15-year-old student died at his high school on the island of Poros yesterday during gym class. The teenager was working out under teacher supervision when he suddenly dropped to the floor. Efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead upon arrival at the island’s health center. An autopsy is likely to be conducted today to help establish the cause of death. Degree bonus The government yesterday announced plans to soon pass a law allowing degrees from open universities outside Greece to be officially recognized as part of a shake-up of the Inter-University Center for the Recognition of Foreign Degrees (DIKATSA). This could open the way for holders of such degrees to apply for jobs in the public sector. The new law will also permit Greek universities to operate long-distance learning institutes. Drugs chase After a car chase through the northwestern town of Ioannina yesterday, drug squad officers arrested an Albanian man who had 5 kilos and 80 grams of heroine in his car, police said. The suspect, identified as 42-year-old Hiso Biro, is believed to have collected the drugs from the Greek-Albanian border. Suspicious papers A Thessaloniki prosecutor yesterday took delivery of four folders of cases involving forged identity papers in central Macedonia. Authorities suspect that those involved had been trying to obtain Greek nationality under false pretences. Bank robbery Two bank employees were injured yesterday morning when two armed men robbed an Alpha Bank branch in Kallithea before escaping on foot. The incident occurred at 8.05 a.m. when the robbers walked into the bank at 224 Syngrou Avenue, and forced customers and employees onto the floor while they stole an, as yet, unknown amount of cash. One of the men hit a female teller in the face with the butt of his gun and then fired into the air. The bullet ricochetted, grazing another teller. Taxi plunge A taxi, not carrying any passengers, fell into the sea at the port of Piraeus early yesterday morning but the driver managed to escape unscathed, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. Lufthansa let off Deputy Development Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou announced yesterday that he will ask the EU Competition Commission to drop the case he had brought against Lufthansa Airlines after it decided to allow tickets for flights which depart from Germany to be bought from travel agents based and operating in Greece, the Athens News Agency reported.