In Brief


US delegation praises ties, expresses interest in telecoms investment «Greece is an important ally in the region and has made a significant contribution to Afghanistan and Iraq,» US Congressman Bob Goodlatte said yesterday after meeting with Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis along with several other congressmen and US Ambassador to Greece Charles Ries. Trade, agriculture and technology topped the agenda of talks, Ries said. Transport Minister Michalis Liapis also met a delegation of congressmen who expressed interest in boosting US investment in Greece, especially its telecoms sector. Molyviatis is due to meet US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Washington on March 24, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday. COLLAPSED BUILDING Rescue workers seek 3 laborers thought to have been trapped Rescue workers were yesterday trying to locate three laborers believed to have become trapped in rubble following the collapse of a section of a building undergoing renovation in the northern city of Alexandroupolis. A construction worker who was outside the building when the incident occurred told police that three workers had been inside at the time. Works to clear the rubble of the 100-year-old building will take time as another collapse is likely, the head of the rescue effort said. NEW TRAVELCARD Three-euro ticket on sale from Tuesday A new travelcard allowing 24-hour access to virtually all forms of public transport and costing 3 euros is to come into effect from Tuesday, the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA) said yesterday. The new ticket does not cover trips to Athens’s international airport nor use of the E22 Athens-Saronida bus route, OASA said. The old 2.90-euro daily tickets will continue to be sold – and will be valid for use until the end of December 2005 – but will bear a stamp reminding commuters that they can only be used for one bus trip to or from the airport. Flood compensation Farmers who lost livestock as a result of flooding in Evros earlier this week will be compensated within the next two months and those whose crops were ravaged by the floods should receive their payment by the end of June, Deputy Agricultural Development and Food Minister Alexandros Kontos said yesterday following a tour of the region. Cyprus Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos yesterday submitted his candidacy for re-election as the leader of his center-right Democratic Rally party (DISY). Papadopoulos, who is the only candidate, said his aim was to boost unity. Dirty deal A 38-year-old Albanian whose body was found by passers-by on a sidewalk in the Athenian district of Kallithea yesterday morning was probably killed following a dispute over a drug deal, police said. The man had been shot in the head, according to police, who discovered 100 euros and a small bag of unidentified white powder in his pockets. Bank raids Unidentified robbers made off with two trays of cash containing 105,000 euros that a bank employee had been about to slot into the ATM of an Iraklion bank, police in Crete said yesterday. The employee told police he had just removed the empty trays from the ATM when he saw that the boot of his car had been forced open and the cash stolen. Also yesterday, two robbers who held up a bank in Thessaloniki fled on foot with an undisclosed sum. Forged euros Police in Cyprus were yesterday questioning a businessman, a policeman and a confectioner in connection with an alleged attempt to smuggle more than 40,000 euros in forged bills into southern Cyprus from the island’s Turkish-occupied north. An undercover police officer arrested the trio in a Limassol hotel room on Thursday night after posing as a potential buyer, police said yesterday. Rethymnon blast A blast in a Rethymnon cafe that damaged at least seven stores and an apartment was probably caused by a liquid gas leak, police said yesterday morning after finding an open cylinder amid the rubble. No one was injured in the blast, which occurred shortly after 10 a.m. when the seaside cafe was still closed.

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