NEWS

In Brief

OLYMPIC GAMES

A year on, Athens mayor says event gave city much-needed lift A year to the day after the opening ceremony of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, the city’s mayor, Dora Bakoyannis, said the world’s largest sporting event improved Greece’s capital by leading to the creation of better public transportation, sporting facilities and a generally cleaner and greener city. But Bakoyannis also admitted that making proper use of the venues will be a difficult task that will require more work. FATAL COLLISION Father and son killed in car crash A father and his 6-year-old son were killed yesterday when their vehicle collided head-on with another on a stretch of highway close to Tripolis in the Peloponnese, police said. Two people in the other oncoming car were seriously injured. Traffic on the Corinth-Patras highway was disrupted for a few hours until rescue operators pulled apart the two vehicles. Imair flights Azerbaijanian airline Imair will start direct flights to Larnaca in southern Cyprus and not to the Turkish occupied part of the island as previously announced, the airline’s president was quoted as saying yesterday. Last month Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev had announced the national airline will start regular flights between the country’s capital, Baku, and north Nicosia’s Tymbos. Mine-clearing drive A United Nations peacekeeper participates in an EU-brokered de-mining effort at the UN-controlled buffer zone in Nicosia yesterday. The venture was launched by the Turkish military after nearly two years of negotiations with the UN and Turkish-Cypriot authorities in Turkish-occupied Cyprus. EU officials said they hoped the move would encourage freer movement across the divided island. Drug bust More than a kilo of heroin, some 300 grams of cocaine and small quantities of hashish were found in the home of a 46-year-old man whom police arrested in Thessaloniki yesterday. After searching the man’s car, police also found a mobile phone and 32 plastic bags used to store drugs. Kozani fire Ten firefighters using six fire trucks were struggling to extinguish a fire yesterday close to Kozani in northern Greece, authorities said. The firefighting operation was carried out by a 14-member rescue team operating on foot. By midday, the fire had destroyed about 5 hectares of land. Bank robberies Robbers targeted two Eurobank branches yesterday, police said. The first heist took place at a branch in Metamorphosis in northwestern Athens at 8.50 a.m. Two men wearing helmets threatened staff and customers with handguns before fleeing with 26,000 euros. An hour later, the second robbery unfolded in Agyroupolis in eastern Athens, where two men made off with an unknown sum. Illegal immigrants Port authorities early yesterday arrested three illegal immigrants on the island of Lesvos. The three people, who did not have any travel documents with them, said they had floated to Lesvos via Turkey on an inflatable dinghy.