NEWS

In Brief

EVROS RIVER

PM is to visit flooded sites today; around 2,200 hectares swamped Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is today due to visit the prefecture of Evros where around 2,200 hectares of land were under water yesterday following the overflow of the Evros River on Thursday. Local authorities were on standby yesterday as regional officials warned of further floods. No residential areas had been affected by late yesterday. PROSTITUTION RACKET Drug addicts enlisted in scam Police said yesterday that they had arrested the head of a ring that allegedly forced foreign women into prostitution and forged the birth certificates of children, ostensibly fathered by Greeks, in order to get them residence permits. Drug addicts would be paid to present themselves as fathers of the prostitutes’ fictitious children, police said. Travel warning The Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA) yesterday stressed that the rate of inspections on public transport would not wane, following reports that around 100 ticket inspectors had been laid off. It would have cost around 750,000 euros to renew the contracts of the 100 inspectors, as compared to an estimated 375,000 euros in fines amassed over the eight months of their employment, OASA said. Fatal blaze A 24-year-old woman, rescued from a blaze in her third-floor apartment in Kolonos, western central Athens, in the early hours of yesterday morning, died of her burns in the hospital shortly afterward. A man was also rescued from the apartment but his condition was not known yesterday. It was also unclear what provoked the blaze. Illegal antiquities Police in the Peloponnesian port of Kiato yesterday arrested a Greek man after confiscating about 100 illegally excavated antiquities in his possession, including coins and pottery. Ferry strike Passenger ferries will be moored at ports across the country from 6 a.m. on March 1 to 6 a.m. on March 3 as sailors join a 48-hour strike, the Panhellenic Seamen’s Federation said yesterday. Turkish violations Twenty-five Turkish fighter jets yesterday violated Greek national air space in the northern and central Aegean five times before being chased off by Greek fighters. In two cases, the planes engaged in simulated dogfights. Two were photo-reconnaissance Phantoms. Arms probe The findings of an investigative committee probing the purchase of arms by the previous PASOK government are to be discussed by Parliament’s plenary session next Friday, sources said yesterday. Huge haul A bag snatched from a car parked in central Thessaloniki yesterday contained cash, checks and bills with a total value of 806,387 euros, the owner told police. Hania robbery A shootout between two bank robbers and policemen in central Hania yesterday afternoon resulted in minor leg injuries for one officer. The two robbers, armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle and a shotgun, netted 14,000 euros. After failing to escape on their motorcycle, they hijacked a taxi and fled, police said. Convention minutes Parliament has bought the minutes and resolutions of the fourth National Convention in Argos in 1829 at an auction, Parliament Speaker Anna Psarouda-Benaki said yesterday. Mbeki visit South African President Thabo Mbeki is to pay a state visit to Greece on Wednesday, President Costis Stephanopoulos’s office confirmed yesterday.