NEWS

In Brief

COCAINE ARRESTS

Greek pair caught in connection with major Balkan drug-smuggling ring Two Greeks have been arrested after allegedly being part of a cocaine smuggling ring which was bringing large quantities of the drug into the country via Bulgaria and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), police said on Saturday. One Greek was arrested in Thessaloniki and the other in the FYROM capital Skopje after three alleged smugglers from FYROM were arrested on the country’s border with Bulgaria on Friday with 10 kilograms of cocaine which had a street value of 1.2 million euros. SOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL Papandreou set to become president PASOK leader George Papandreou is likely to be elected president of the Socialist International (SI) association when the worldwide organization of left-wing parties holds its meeting in Athens on January 30-31 next year. The SI said yesterday that it set up a special commission last June to come up with suitable candidates for the post. Papandreou’s name is the only one that has been put forward by the commission. Film festival The 46th Thessaloniki International Film Festival – featuring over 200 Greek and foreign films and numerous parallel artistic events, including exhibitions on the award-winning Greek-American production designer Dean Tavoularis and the celebrated filmmaker Vittorio Storaro – began this weekend at the Olympion cinemas and the Thessaloniki port complex after the inauguration screening on Friday evening of Danis Tanovic’s «L’enfer.» Earthquakes An earthquake measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale shook Patras in western Greece at 7.56 p.m. yesterday. No injuries or damage was reported. The quake’s epicenter was in Nafpaktos, northeast of Patras, seismologists said. A 4.5-Richter quake also shook the town of Siteia in Crete at 7.26 p.m. on Saturday. There were no injuries or damage there either. Snowfall Some 10 centimeters of snow fell on Mount Athos in Halkidiki yesterday, authorities said, but no major problems were reported. Light snow also fell in parts of central and western Macedonia, as temperatures around the country plummeted by some 10 degrees Celsius.