NEWS

Potholed road gets boy 5 mln for bike fall

A seven-year-old boy who sustained head injuries and permanently impaired hearing when he fell from his bicycle after it foundered on a pothole is to receive 5 million drachmas (14,673 euros) in state compensation, the Council of State ruled in a decision made public yesterday. In a move likely to set a precedent for citizens claiming compensation for accidents on inadequately maintained roads, the court ruled that the municipal authorities of Axioupolis near Kilkis, northern Greece, were guilty of «moral damage» and contravening the Municipal and Community Code by failing to make repairs to a public road which needed maintenance, or to alert road users by setting up warning signs. The court rejected a state appeal for «shared liability,» saying the boy is too young to face such a charge, and ruled that the 1994 accident, which resulted in the boy suffering a 60-percent hearing impairment, was the fault of state authorities alone. In August, a ruined gambler hanged himself from a tree outside a casino in Xanthi, northern Greece