NEWS

In Brief

PM IN RUSSIA

Karamanlis starts three-day visit, to meet President Putin tomorrow Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis arrived in Moscow yesterday for three days of talks with Russian officials on boosting bilateral cooperation. Karamanlis is due to meet with President Vladimir Putin tomorrow and is also to have talks with his counterpart Mikhail Fradkov. «This is a very significant visit…. which aims at broadening (bilateral) cooperation,» Karamanlis said after arriving in Moscow. «We will sign two important agreements regarding boosting and promoting our relations and economic activities,» he added. The energy and transport sectors are expected to be high on the agenda of talks. ATHENS TRAM Routes better serviced, trips swifter, more commuters using them, firm says Trams are running approximately every 7.5 minutes and are significantly speedier than when they were first introduced, the firm managing the Athens tram network said yesterday. A tram trip from the Peace and Friendship Stadium (SEF) in Faliron to Glyfada now takes 34-37 minutes, from Syntagma to SEF 43-47 minutes, and from Syntagma-Glyfada 52-57 minutes, the firm said. It added that between 38,000 and 40,000 commuters now use the tram daily. The firm said it plans to extend the tram route from Glyfada to Voula and from Faliron to central Piraeus. The network has been heavily criticized for its slowness. MORE CARS Record rise in new vehicles The number of new cars – or newly registered second-hand ones – on Greek roads increased by 16.9 percent to a record 355,372 between January and November, as compared to 303,867 in the same period last year, the National Statistics Service said yesterday. The number of new motorcycles (in excess of 50cc) on Greek roads increased by 21.3 percent to 77,141 over the same 11-month period, compared to 63,588 in the same period last year, the service said. Cameras attacked A group of youths vandalized two traffic cameras in central Athens yesterday afternoon, according to police. The youths threw flammable liquid onto cameras at the junctions of Patission and Marni streets and Stournari and Bouboulina streets before setting fire to them, police said. Doctors charged A Piraeus prosecutor yesterday brought charges against five doctors for allegedly arranging the transfer from Korydallos Prison to Nikaia Hospital of another doctor who had been remanded in custody for illegally issuing prescriptions. Medical tests conducted upon Vassilis Tsigounis showed that he was in fine health. The prosecutor charged three doctors from Korydallos Prison with violation of duty and two doctors from Nikaia Hospital, who allegedly requested Tsigounis’s transfer, with being accessories before the fact. Athens radio The operation of Athens International Radio 104.4, a multilingual radio station established by municipal authorities, is «a matter under discussion» the president of the National Broadcasting Council (ESR), Ioannis Laskaridis, said yesterday after meeting with Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis. Laskaridis said ESR has sent the National Telecommunications and Post Commission (EETT) a chart of all the radio stations operating legally. The multilingual station is not on the chart. Poisoned chicken A Cretan man and his five children, aged 20 to 30, were yesterday hospitalized in Iraklion after eating chicken that contained pesticide, police said. Yiannis Dimitroulakis’s wife had not eaten any chicken, saying she had not been hungry, police said. Banking complaints ªost complaints (82 percent) lodged with the Banking Ombudsman over the first nine months of this year were settled in favor of the consumer, it was revealed yesterday. Of 660 written complaints, 452 were settled in favor of the consumer and 121 in favor of the bank, with compromises reached in 87 cases. Topping the list of complaints were those relating to illegal transactions carried out following the loss or theft of a bank card. Farmers protest Farmers from Serres yesterday blocked key road junctions with their tractors, protesting against low cotton prices.