In Brief


Police sweep spreads further afield; bad marks for Hania and Fthiotida A police crackdown on criminal activity, which last week led to the arrest of over 500 suspects in four major cities, yesterday continued in the Peloponnese, mainland Greece, Evia and Crete. In last week’s «Polis» sweep, the largest number of inspections, 343, were carried out in Ileia, while the most arrests, 28, were made in Hania, according to Public Order Ministry figures that were made public yesterday. The largest number of confirmed violations, 119, had been committed in Fthiotida and the largest mobilization of police officers, 55, was in Messinia, the figures showed. FASTER TRAMS Traffic lights ‘to give right of way’ Transport Minister Michalis Liapis yesterday heralded changes to the traffic light system along the tram route from Syntagma to Neos Cosmos which will give right of way to the new mode of transport. The main reason for the change is to speed up the operation of the tram, Liapis said after meeting with Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias. It was unclear when the new system is due to come into effect. Online gambling Three Internet cafe managers have been arrested after allegedly submitting online bets for their customers, police in Edessa said yesterday. The three men allegedly gathered customers’ bets on forthcoming soccer games before sending them by fax or e-mail to websites hosting illegal gaming. The trio, two of whom managed cafes in Edessa and the other in Mavrovouni, are believed to have pocketed a cut of each bet for themselves. Carnival festivities Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis yesterday called upon citizens to participate in the capital’s annual Carnival festivities, which are to run from March 3 to 14. Performances featuring 31 musicians and dancers are to be staged in nine squares across the city – including Kolonaki, Syntagma, Plaka and Fokionos Negri – as well as in Thiseion, Zappeion, at the Technopolis complex and in the Varvakeios Market, Bakoyannis said. For the first time, there will also be shows on the hills of Philopappou, Strefi and Skouze, she added. Cyprus visit The Cypriot government condemned yesterday’s visit by representatives of 10 US firms to the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus. Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said the visit did nothing to promote Cyprus-US relations nor the island’s reunification. Iera Odos It was unclear what caused the tarmac to crack open on a section of Iera Odos near the junction with Pireos Street yesterday afternoon. «It is extremely likely that the road will collapse,» local antiquities officials warned the Public Order Ministry, referring to the damage wreaked by work carried out in preparation for a local metro station that never materialized. The officials pledged to do everything possible to protect nearby antiquities – the reason metro work was abandoned. Lump sum The Supreme Court’s plenary session has ruled that the imposition of a ceiling on lump sum payments to public service workers who retire is unconstitutional, sources said yesterday. The court’s plenary session accepted a proposal by Supreme Court prosecutor Dimitris Linos, the sources said. Devoured Police in Nea Makri yesterday retrieved the ravaged corpse of an 80-year-old man that had been partially consumed by around 25 stray dogs. Andreas Petridis had apparently died of natural causes before the dogs set upon his body in the yard of his home in Nea Makri, according to police who were alerted to the incident by neighbors.

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