Cosmote says it is looking to buy a controlling stake in Germanos Mobile operator Cosmote has begun talks to buy a controlling stake of some 34 percent in the phone accessories retailer Germanos, it was revealed yesterday. Cosmote said it was in talks with Panos Germanos, the founder of the successful chain of telecoms stores. Both companies asked for trading in their shares to be suspended on the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday and on Monday, when the results of the talks between the two parties will be made public. The deal is believed to have the backing of the government. SAILOR FEARS Hope fading for Greek sailors lost at sea off South African coast South African rescue workers said yesterday they were concerned about the fate of 27 sailors, including four Greeks, who had been missing for almost two days in the sea off Port Elizabeth. But the search for survivors from the sinking of the Alexandros T continued, with ships and the air force looking for the missing seamen. The men were wearing life jackets but would be suffering from severe heat loss, rescuers said. UN VOTE Greece wants seat on new council Greece was gearing up its diplomatic efforts at the United Nations yesterday ahead of a General Assembly vote on Tuesday to secure a spot on the new Human Rights Council. The UN decided in March to set up the council to replace the Human Rights Commission, which many thought had lost influence. Greece is one of nine countries from the «Western Europe and other states» group that will be competing for seven places on the council. Political rule Greeks are far more obsessed with domestic politics than the average European, according to a survey for the European Union made public yesterday. The Eurobaromater poll showed that 61 percent of Greeks were «very interested» in their country’s politics compared to an EU average of just 19 percent. That fascination with the domestic political scene may also explain why only one in 10 Greeks said they ventured outside the country’s borders during the previous 12 months, compared to 37 percent of respondents from other EU countries who said they had traveled abroad during that period. Arresting art A 28-year-old man was arrested in Nea Smyrni yesterday in connection with the attempted theft of five paintings and several valuable items from a house in the northern suburb of Kifissia, police said. A 61-year-old man had been arrested early Thursday morning in connection with the same alleged crime. Police officers patrolling the area said they saw the men, who were not named, walking out of the house to their car with the loot. The woman who owns the house was asleep during the incident. Officers arrested the older man on the spot but the younger man escaped and was arrested a day later. Thessaloniki pullout The mayor of Thessaloniki, Vassilis Papageorgopoulos, said yesterday that he was withdrawing the city’s candidacy to host the Mediterranean Games in 2013. The mayor said he made the decision because of a lack of support from his political opponents on the municipal council. Meanwhile, Papageorgopoulos said research by the city’s Aristotle University indicates there is 5.52 square meters of greenery for every person living in the municipality. Bank holdup Two armed robbers burst into a branch of ATEbank in the Polichni suburb of Thessaloniki yesterday morning and made off with 22,555 euros in cash, police said. The two men entered the bank at 8.30 a.m. and threatened staff with handguns, officers said. Corinth quake An undersea earthquake measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale struck in the Gulf of Corinth at 9.15 a.m. yesterday. The quake, which was also felt in Attica, did not cause any injuries or damage. Gerasimos Papadopoulos of the Geodynamic Institute told Kathimerini that the tremor was unlikely to be part of a series of quakes.