NEWS

In Brief

VAVILIS PROTEST

Ex-drug dealer linked to shady deals starts hunger strike over extradition Apostolos Vavilis, a drug dealer who has been linked to a series of shady deals involving the Church of Greece, the police and foreign secret services, began a hunger strike in an Italian jail on Friday, his lawyer said yesterday. Vavilis wants his extradition to Greece sped up. He was captured in Bologna in April and is serving a seven-year sentence for drug smuggling. Greece has asked for his extradition so that he can face charges of forgery, false impersonation, breach of state secrets and defamation. SUDAN REBUFF Environmentalists protest Greek plans to send tons of treated sewage Greece’s plans to dispose of thousands of tons of partially treated sewage by exporting it to Sudan have met with fierce opposition from local environmentalists, according to reports on Arabic television channel Al-Jazeera. According to the reports, local activists have criticized Greece for exploiting the Sudanese government’s disorganization in the face of civil war. An estimated 170,000 tons of sludge has mounted at Attica’s sole sewage treatment plant. WATER WORKS Supply from Aliakmon ‘top-grade’ Water from the Aliakmon River, which provides 60 percent of the tap water used by Thessaloniki residents, is of first-grade quality, experts told a seminar on environmental pollution at the Aristotle University yesterday. A total of 150,000 cubic meters of water are pumped through the city’s network daily after being cleansed of traces of asbestos, pesticides and other impurities at distilleries in Ionia, experts said. Power struggle Public Power Corporation (PPC) President Yiannis Paleokrassas was describing the situation he inherited at the electricity provider when he referred to corrupt practices, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said yesterday. In an interview with Sunday’s Kathimerini, Paleokrassas said that he was being targeted by opponents because he wanted to stop corruption at PPC by filing a series of lawsuits. Roussopoulos said these were all cases that had come to light in the past. DEKA trial A prosecutor called on an appeals court yesterday to find guilty the seven people charged with breach of faith while serving on the board of DEKA, the Public Portfolio Management Company. According to the prosecutor, DEKA traded more than 700 million euros in shares as a means of supporting the Athens bourse’s benchmark general index shortly before the 2000 national elections without having any of the required expertise. Judges charged The Supreme Court yesterday charged 25 judges with breaking the law on the declaration of assets by either not submitting the necessary forms or withholding information. They have not been linked to the probe into trial-fixing rings. Consumer help The first «Consumer Information Office» began operating yesterday in the central square of the northern Athenian suburb of Halandri. A joint initiative between the local municipality and the Development Ministry, the office aims to inform consumers about their rights. It was unclear whether other offices are to be established in due course. Fan attack Four people were arrested in the eastern suburb of Ilioupolis yesterday after a group of some 100 Panathinaikos fans attacked an Olympiakos supporters’ club with firebombs and stones, police said. The raid took place after Olympiakos beat their crosstown rivals in a volleyball match. Two cars and six motorcycles were damaged in the attack. Freight forward Transport Minister Michalis Liapis and representatives of truck owners yesterday discussed a draft law that is likely to herald a rise in road freight rates. Liapis said the rise would be less than 10 percent but did not give a specific figure. Truckers are keen for an increase to make up for the earnings they claim to have lost due to higher fuel prices. Fruit prices Vendors at open-air markets said yesterday that fruit and vegetable prices will not rise because of the recent rain which destroyed many crops.