NEWS

In Brief

RENDI TRADERS

Market is set to move, possibly to Elefsina, deputy minister says Athens’s central wholesale market at Rendi may be moved – either partially or fully – to another part of Attica, Deputy Development Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou said yesterday. The industrial district of Elefsina is one of the options being considered due to its accessibility via the Attiki Odos but the government is considering several other proposals, Papathanassiou said. REGIONAL DEFENSE US hosts meeting of ministers from 13 Southeastern European states US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is to host a meeting of defense ministers from 13 Southeastern European countries – including Greece – to discuss regional security issues, a Pentagon spokesman said yesterday. Topics to be discussed during the December 5-6 gathering include counter-proliferation, border security, peacekeeping and regional exercises. It is the first time the United States has hosted a Southeastern European defense ministerial meeting. (AFP) BRIBE TAKING Tax officials, accountants indicted Three tax officials, two accountants and a lawyer have been indicted to appear before a Thessaloniki court on bribe-taking charges, it was revealed yesterday. The case came to trial when a citizen charged that he had been asked for 7,500 euros in order to secure exemption from paying transfer tax on a property. Police traced the alleged scam after tapping the phones of the tax officials. Deputy dies PASOK Deputy Costas Tsimas died yesterday at the age of 69. Tsimas, one of the founding members of the Socialist party, will be replaced by Savvas Eminidis for the seat of Kavala in northern Greece. Ship sinks A North Korean-flagged cargo ship anchored at Igoumenitsa harbor sank yesterday after being loaded with bricks it had been due to transport to Albania. Tugboats tried to prevent the Rei from sinking after it tilted to one side during loading. The Rei’s nine-member crew were not injured. Hooligans banned A court handed three suspended jail sentences of up to three years to three soccer fans arrested on Sunday during clashes with police at a game between Levadiakos and AEK Athens. The three fans have also been banned from attending any of AEK’s games for the next two years. Insurance verdict The Private Insurance Commission will meet tomorrow under the auspices of the Development Ministry to decide what action it should take against three car insurance firms which have allegedly failed to pay out on claims, officials said yesterday. The watchdog will decide whether to revoke the license of Argonaftiki, Astra and Galaxias, which are responsible for insuring more than 240,000 vehicles. Galaxias and Astra denied any wrongdoing. Chinese detention Police at Athens International Airport have detained some 45 Chinese nationals trying to enter Greece with false documents, officers said yesterday. The group arrived on a flight from Shanghai on Monday night claiming to be tourists but will be sent back to China, police said. Rates rise The City of Athens council decided yesterday to raise the municipal rates paid by households for street cleaning and lighting by 3.4 percent next year. Families with four children or more will receive a 50 percent discount. Stores and businesses will pay 3.7 percent more in 2006, the council decided. Biker killed The body of a motorcycle rider was dragged by a truck for two kilometers yesterday on the Athens-Lamia highway after colliding with the vehicle, police said. The truckdriver told authorities that he was not aware of the collision and realized that a dead man was hanging from the vehicle when notified by a passer-by. The trucker was arrested. Bus scam Police yesterday arrested the driver of a school bus that had fake number plates and was not registered to transport students. Further checks found that the bus’s owner, who ran a tourist office, owned four more buses with number plates belonging to stolen cars.