NEWS

In Brief

OLYMPIC AIRLINES

Government signs memorandum with Greek-American consortium The government has signed a memorandum with a Greek-American consortium for the privatization of troubled state-carrier Olympic Airlines, the Finance Ministry said late yesterday. The ministry said that the signing of the memorandum with the consortium consisting of Greek investment company Olympic Investors and US partner York Capital begins the sale of the carrier which is still subject to European Union approval. Financial terms and other details of the agreement were not announced. The consortium is one of five bidders for Olympic Airlines. SAILORS ARRESTED Police impersonators caught with hundreds of illegal CDs Two sailors were arrested in Aghios Panteleimonas, central Athens, late on Thursday for impersonating police officers while dressed in the uniforms of law enforcers, authorities said yesterday. After searching their vehicle, police found 742 illegal copies of CDs. One of the men arrested tried to slip police a fake military identification, authorities said. The two men, both aged 22, are employed with the navy on five-year contracts and will be tried in a naval court. CAR CHASE Cigarette smuggler escapes The driver of a truck illegally transporting cigarettes escaped from police on Thursday after a car chase in Keratea, southeast Attica, police said yesterday. The driver was signaled to stop for a routine check by traffic police when he disobeyed orders and sped away. A car chase followed and the driver later dumped the truck and got away on foot. Police are searching for the driver and owner of the truck. Some 97,000 packets of cigarettes were found hidden in the vehicle. Jailbird Police located and arrested yesterday a prison escapee in the forest area of Kastoria, northern Greece, more than 10 years after he had escaped from a jail in Ioannina. The man, whom police described as being particularly dangerous, was convicted for smuggling five kilos of hashish into Greece in 1995. He escaped from prison three months into his sentence. Deadly shooting A 26-year-old man shot and killed a woman late on Thursday in Evia, central Greece, in front of one of her young children, after having his romantic advances repeatedly turned down, police said yesterday. The 32-year-old woman, who was divorced, was shot twice while she was sitting in the garden of her house. Local police managed to convince the man to give himself up early yesterday morning after having constant phone contact with him. Fire controlled Firefighters had partly controlled a blaze in northern Greece’s Drama, close to the Greek-Bulgarian border, yesterday afternoon, authorities said. The operation to extinguish the fire, which had been burning for more than a day, took 32 firefighters and five fire trucks. Rainy weather in the region early yesterday gave firefighters an advantage. Deadly crash A head-on car crash on a major highway between Thessaloniki and Halkidiki early yesterday resulted in the death of an 80-year-old driver, police said. The other driver involved in the collision, a 31-year-old man, was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Police have launched an investigation into the cause of the accident. Train fire The engine of a train carrying 90 passengers caught on fire in Ano Liosia, northwest Athens, yesterday but no one was injured, said railway authorities. Employees helped passengers to quickly disembark from the Intercity 23 train as they put out the fire, which broke out due to mechanical problems. The train was traveling from Kyparissia, in the Peloponnese, to Athens. The 90 passengers continued their journey by bus, while the Athens-Patras line was restored immediately. Drug arrests Two men were arrested in Athens yesterday for drug possession, police said. The two men, aged 33 and 40 years old, were found with 2.6 kilograms of heroin and 1,370 euros in cash.