NEWS

In Brief

SOCCER CHAMPION

Olympiakos Piraeus wins its eighth title in the past nine years Olympiakos won the Greek soccer league yesterday in a cliffhanger last round of play, in which any one of three teams could have walked away with the title. It was the Piraeus club’s eighth championship in nine years. Olympiakos has also won the 2005 Greek Cup. (Page 8) POLICE EFFECTIVENESS Ministry figures reveal a drop in robberies and fatal road accidents There has been a significant drop in thefts, robberies and road fatalities this year, according to statistics made public yesterday by Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis. During the first four months of 2005, robberies fell by 18 percent and car thefts fell 10 percent. However, robberies in Thessaloniki rose 20 percent, a statistic police attributed to a different recording system used in the northern city. Fatal road accidents fell 22 percent last month compared to April 2004, a drop Voulgarakis said was chiefly due to the creation of new highway traffic police units. CYPRUS DISPUTE Nicosia objects to US visit to north Nicosia is doing all it can to stop the scheduled visit to the island’s Turkish-occupied north by three US congressman, government spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said. The congressmen are to fly directly into northern Cyprus, which is illegal, Chrysostomides said. US Special Coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston countered that direct flights to northern Cyprus are not illegal «in the view of the United States or anyone else,» The Associated Press reported. Aegean violations Thirty Turkish fighter jets violated Greek air space in the northern and central Aegean nine times yesterday, military sources said. The Turkish planes were all chased off by Greek aircraft. Meanwhile, a Turkish coast guard vessel twice entered Greek waters off the islets of Imia early yesterday but the incident did not lead to a standoff with Greek vessels, the sources said. Psychiatrist trial The trial of a psychiatrist who allegedly supplied illegal drugs to patients attempting to kick their addictions is due to begin today. Petros Lymberis allegedly administered the drugs from his Athens clinic as part of what was ostensibly a detoxification program. Florakis Hundreds of citizens visited the Greek Communist Party’s (KKE) headquarters in Perissos yesterday to pay their final respects to the party’s former leader Harilaos Florakis, who died last Sunday aged 91. The veteran politician is today to be buried in his native village of Paliozoglopi, near Agrafa in western central Greece. Illegal immigrants Coast guards on Corfu yesterday detained two illegal immigrants who claimed to have swum to the island from Albania. The two men were spotted swimming toward the island yesterday morning. Also yesterday, officials on Lesvos detained 21 illegal immigrants believed to have reached the island by speedboat from Turkey. Among the 21 was the group’s suspected smuggler, a Turk, who admitted to having transported 18 migrants to Lesvos on Tuesday. Lesvos officials detained a separate group of 11 would-be migrants on Tuesday night. Foreign affairs The cross-party National Council for Foreign Policy (ESEP) is to convene next Wednesday at the Foreign Ministry to discuss developments relating to Cyprus, Kosovo and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Greek-Turkish relations and Turkey’s European Union bid, the ministry said yesterday. The meeting, to be chaired by Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis, will also include a briefing about Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis’s recent visit to Washington. Yesterday, Karamanlis briefed President Karolos Papoulias on the results of his US trip. Salonica floods Dozens of ground-floor and basement apartments and stores in Thessaloniki were flooded yesterday following heavy afternoon rainfall. The rain also provoked sporadic power cuts in some parts of the city and flooded parts of Stavroupolis and other districts, causing traffic chaos.