NEWS

In Brief

DRUGS SHOOTOUT

Two suspected dealers flee after exchanging fire with police Police were yesterday seeking two suspected drug dealers who managed to elude arrest following a shootout with officers in the suburb of Acharnes, northern Athens, on Friday night. The two men had been negotiating the sale of some heroin to an undercover policemen when two officers stepped in to arrest them, prompting the pair to flee in their car. The pair fired shots at police pursuing them and police fired back, bursting the tires of their vehicle, but when officers caught up with the car the suspected dealers had abandoned it and fled on foot. There were no reports of any injuries. VISAS FOR UKRAINIANS Greece seeking to ease procedures Greece is seeking to ease visa procedures for Ukrainians visiting Greece as this is likely to provide a considerable boost to the Greek tourism sector, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Yiannis Valinakis told reporters on Saturday following talks in Athens with his Ukrainian counterpart Anton Buteiko. «It is a similar initiative to the one we undertook with Russia and completed last October,» Valinakis said. Deadly driver The driver of a vehicle that hit and killed a pedestrian in Metamorphosis, northern Athens, on Saturday was arrested yesterday after escaping from police custody. The man escaped from custody shortly after the accident by jumping out of a window at the Athens General State Hospital, where he was undergoing medical tests. Police launched a manhunt for the driver, whom officers eventually found in Piraeus, southern Athens. Papandreou contacts In his capacity as head of the Socialist International (SI), PASOK leader George Papandreou yesterday had a telephone conversation with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Papandreou’s office said that the two men discussed the impact of the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed as well as the problems in Cyprus and the Middle East. Papandreou was elected president of the SI in Athens last month. Cabbie attacked Police in Kallithea were yesterday questioning a 30-year-old man in connection with the stabbing of a taxi driver in the early hours of the morning. The 30-year-old – and a second suspect, who eluded police – are believed to have stabbed the driver of the taxi they boarded in Palaio Faliron and robbed him of 200 euros and a mobile phone. Mild earthquake A mild earthquake measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale shook the area of Pelion, central Greece, on Saturday at 12.38 p.m. but there were no reports of injuries or damage. Road fatalities One person died and three were injured in a collision between a passenger car and a truck outside Kozani, northern Greece, early yesterday. On Friday night, a 40-year-old man was killed after the car he was driving along a country road just outside Halkidiki veered out of its lane and overturned.