NEWS

In Brief

PHONE TAPPING

Vodafone confirms that one of its centers was on Intracom’s premises Mobile telephony company Vodafone admitted yesterday that one of its communications centers has been located since 1993 on the premises of electronics giant Intracom in Paeania, east of Athens. The admission comes after allegations by New Democracy MP Miltiades Evert linking the two companies to the phone-tapping affair. Vodafone, however, insisted that no Intracom employees could enter the communications center. INVESTMENT SCAM Ex-lecturer released pending trial over alleged 20-million-euro fraud A 59-year-old former university lecturer who has been accused of swindling some 300 people out of more than 20 million euros was released on bail yesterday by a magistrate in Athens. Constantinos Christopoulos denied having taken money from people with the promise of investing it and guaranteeing greater returns. He said he intended to return all the money he was entrusted with. The 59-year-old had to post bail of 30,000 euros. He was banned from leaving Greece and will have to appear at a police station twice a month pending his trial. EVROS FLOOD Some 250 hectares under water An emergency evacuation plan was put into effect yesterday in northeastern Greece, after the Evros River burst its banks near Didymoteicho and flooded some 250 hectares of land. Locals have been warned to move their animals and machinery away from the banks of the river, which reached a depth of 5.32 meters at Pytheio – 38 centimeters short of its emergency level. KEPs abroad The Foreign Ministry said yesterday that citizens’ information and service centers (KEPs) would be open at 22 Greek consulates around the world from this Friday. The consulates to house KEPs, which will allow visitors to obtain up to 1,000 different public documents, include those in New York, Chicago, Boston, Montreal, Toronto, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Johannesburg. The KEPs will be online with the Interior Ministry in Greece. Cracking find Authorities uncovered yesterday 7.2 million illegal firecrackers in a warehouse in Yiannitsa, northern Greece. Police are investigating claims made by the 63-year-old warehouse owner that he was supplied the fireworks from a company in Thessaloniki. Bad food Athens prefectural inspection teams yesterday confiscated 419 kilos of food items that were unfit for consumption from two butchers, a supermarket and a delicatessen, located in central Athens, Faliron and Kifissia. The bad food included meat products, frozen seafood and cheeses, the prefect said. The food retailers were hit with total fines of 10,300 euros. Soccer violence A court in Thessaloniki yesterday gave the chairman of Aris soccer club Yiannis Granouzis a 21-month suspended prison sentence after finding him guilty of inciting violence at a home game last May which saw fans run on to the pitch and attack players of local rival Iraklis. Another 11 fans and club officials received suspended jail sentences of up to 12 months. Truck ban Authorities said yesterday that there will be a partial ban on trucks traveling on the country’s roads this long weekend, which is expected to see tens of thousands of Athenians leave the capital. The ban will apply on Friday, between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. and Monday, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Pitch probe A prosecutor on the island of Rhodes ordered yesterday a preliminary investigation into how a 19-year-old man died of a heart attack on Saturday while playing at a five-a-side soccer pitch belonging to the Aegean University. It has been alleged that Ilias Kourounis suffered the heart attack after tripping on the poorly maintained surface and colliding with a teammate. The prosecutor wants to know if the university or local authority were negligent. Club night Some 40 youths attacked a Panathinaikos supporters club in Petralona, southern Athens, late on Monday night, police said yesterday. The attackers threw rocks at the first floor club. Nobody was injured in the incident but three parked cars were damaged, officers said. No arrests were made.