NEWS

In Brief

FLOOD PROBLEMS

Emergency teams try to reopen Xanthi road after thousands cut off Groups of engineers were yesterday trying to restore the road running from Xanthi to Echinos in northeastern Greece after a section of it was washed away when the Kosinthos River swelled with the heavy rain over the weekend. Some 30 villages, housing more than 20,000 people, were cut off from Xanthi as a result of the road being flooded. Residents also experienced problems with electricity and telephone lines. CAR SHOOTING European court slams Greece over police firearms use The European Court of Human Rights yesterday condemned Greece for failing to sufficiently protect a motorist injured by what it called «chaotic» use of police weapons in a car chase through Athens. The court heard how police had pursued Christos Makaratzis when he ran a red light and refused to stop. They opened fire and finally brought him to a halt, but continued firing when he refused to get out of his car, wounding him in the chest, arm, foot and buttock. The panel described Greek legislation in force at the time of the incident, 1995, as «obsolete and incomplete.» The court found that Greece had violated Article Two of the European Human Rights Convention concerning the right to life. (AFP) CHRISTMAS WEATHER Mild conditions for festive period The weather around the country for the rest of this week and on Christmas Day itself is expected to be relatively good, Dimitris Ziakopoulos, the head of forecasting at the National Meteorological Service (EMY), told Kathimerini yesterday. Thursday will be cloudy with the possibility of light showers and winds to speeds of 7 Beaufort. By Friday, however, winds will ease and it will only be partly cloudy. Christmas Day is expected to be mostly sunny and temperatures in Attica may reach 19 degrees Celsius (66F). Murder hunt Police said yesterday they were looking for the murderer of an 88-year-old man whose body was found in his house in a village near Giannitsa, northern Greece, on Sunday night. Constantinos Togrouzidis had been stabbed in the head and neck with a sharp object at his home in Kria Vrysi, officers said. Media bill The government tabled in Parliament yesterday a new draft law designed to prevent owners of large stakes in media enterprises from enjoying access to state contracts. Roadworks Traffic in both directions on a stretch of Kifissos Avenue will be disrupted between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. for the next two weeks due to the removal of Olympic lane markings. The work is taking place between the Kaliftaki Street and Poseidonos Avenue junctions. Armed robbery Three armed robbers held up a gas station along the old national road between Athens and Thebes before dawn yesterday, injuring the attendant and killing the guard dog before making off with some 800 euros, police said. The victim was taken to the hospital where his condition is not known. The incident took place at 4.20 a.m. in the Mandra area of Attica. Child abuse? A 30-year-old man was arrested in Kolonos, western central Athens, yesterday on suspicion of abuse of his girlfriend’s three-year-old son, police said yesterday. Officers picked up the unnamed suspect on Sunday night after the child’s mother took her son to the hospital where he was found to have bruises and bite marks on various parts of his body. The man was responsible for looking after the boy in the afternoons while his mother was at work. Student transfers All details of the transfer of students at universities and technical colleges over the last five years currently available were submitted to Parliament yesterday by the Education Ministry. The move is part of a government drive to disrupt a system of favoritism that has seen politician’s children receive preferential treatment in the past. Some institutions have not yet complied, the ministry is reported to have said, although it did not give specific details.