Inflation at 3.9 percent last month, economy grew by 3.5 percent Higher international energy prices have seeped through the local economy, data released yesterday showed, as headline inflation in July soared to 3.9 percent on a yearly basis from 3.3 percent in the previous month. The National Statistics Service said that a shorter retail sales period was also responsible for the jump in consumer prices. Other data showed that the economy grew by 3.5 percent on an annual basis in the year’s second quarter, one of the fastest growth rates in the European Union, on the back of strong consumer spending and higher exports. MISSING SURFERS Search under way for three who disappeared in high winds A search was under way yesterday evening for three surfers who disappeared off Finikounda, in the southwestern Peloponnese, in high winds, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The surfers were swept out 2 nautical miles (3.7 kilometers) from the coast and had been unable to return to shore in northwesterly winds that reached 8 Beaufort, according to the ministry. Port authorities sent out patrol vessels, assigned an air force helicopter to scour the area and vehicles to conduct a ground search, the ministry said, adding that fishing boats already at sea had been alerted. SERIAL FRAUDSTER? ‘Bad vitamin’ smuggler is caught Police said yesterday that they had arrested a 34-year-old man suspected of importing a large amount of expired vitamins and food supplements and planning to alter the «best before» date before selling them on. Officers said the unnamed man, who was caught last week, was wanted abroad for fraud and forgery. He has also been accused of giving two jewelers in central Athens stolen checks worth 120,000 euros in exchange for jewelry. Mild earthquake An undersea quake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale struck the coastal area between Evia and Skiathos in central Greece yesterday morning. Some houses in Evia suffered minor damage but there were no reports of injuries. Weather alert The National Meteorological Service (EMY) issued a weather alert for today and tomorrow saying that rain and thunderstorms are expected to hit mainland parts of the country, particularly northern Greece, Epirus and some central western regions. The bad weather, along with a drop in temperatures, is expected to spread to parts of the Peloponnese tomorrow. Resignation rejected Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos yesterday said he has refused to accept the resignation tendered by Defense Minister Kyriakos Mavronikolas following an accidental explosion at a military camp near Larnaca last month which injured 18 soldiers, three seriously. Papadopoulos said that there was no valid reason for Mavronikolas to be deemed responsible for the accident. Papadopoulos has seen the findings of preliminary investigations by the police and National Guard into the incident, his office said. Thessaloniki energy Residents of northern Greece can rest assured that electricity supplies will remain steady despite problems in the network, a power company official said yesterday. Traffic disruptions Traffic on the Athens-Lamia national road will be disrupted on Monday morning as works get under way about 50 kilometers outside the capital, the Public Works Ministry said yesterday. The works are to be carried out between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., the ministry said. Jet-ski death A British teenager is to appear in a Cyprus court today to face charges over the death of his 16-year-old girlfriend in a jet-ski crash, police said. He faces charges of causing death by negligence, driving without due care and attention and driving a jet-ski without a permit, according to police. The boy, 16, was released from custody yesterday after a night in jail. (Reuters) Road threat Northern Greece’s peach farmers yesterday threatened to block a major highway linking Yiannitsa with Edessa on Monday if their attempts at obtaining improved prices for their produce fail to gain ground over the weekend.