NEWS

In Brief

TRANSFUSION ALERT

Another case of donated blood with HIV found at Greek hospital A 62-year-old blood donor has tested positive for HIV, the virus that can lead to AIDS, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said yesterday. An 85-year-old diabetes sufferer is thought to have received a transfusion of the infected blood. Authorities said they had not yet managed to contact the patient. The virus was detected in the donor’s blood after nucleic acid testing but was not picked up by initial tests at the Geniko Kratiko hospital in Athens, where the woman gave blood. This is the third HIV scare involving donated blood in the last two months. ATHENS RIOTERS Five anti-war protesters remanded in custody after Saturday clashes Five of the 17 people arrested during disturbances at the anti-war march in Athens on Saturday were remanded in custody yesterday after being questioned by a magistrate. The other 12 suspects were released but must appear at their local police station at regular intervals. Some suspects also had to put up 2,000-euro bail. The five being held have been charged with robbery and setting off explosions. The other 12 have been charged with causing damage, bodily harm and resisting arrest. STRONG GROWTH Minister says GDP up by 4 percent Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis said yesterday that gross domestic product (GDP) growth rose to 4 percent in the first quarter of 2006 from 3.4 percent in the corresponding quarter last year. Eye protection Greeks risk damaging their eyesight by choosing to wear knock-off sunglasses, opticians said yesterday as they revealed that most sunglasses purchased in Greece each year were copies of brand names. The Association of Opticians and Optometrists in northern Greece said 60 percent of the 2.5 million sunglasses bought by Greeks were knock-offs offering little protection against harmful ultraviolet rays. «It is better for someone not to wear sunglasses at all rather than to wear sunglasses that are copies,» said the association’s president, Eleftherios Karageorgidis. Prefectural tension The prefect of Thessaloniki, Panayiotis Psomiadis, denied accusations that he was a nationalist or extreme right-winger because of comments he made opposing the nomination of a Greek Muslim as PASOK’s candidate for the Drama-Kavala-Xanthi prefect. But Psomiadis said he was worried about some developments. «In our country, we are afraid to say we are Greeks. We are afraid to support our rights. I don’t know where this country is going,» he told reporters. Forced prostitution The anti-trafficking department of the Thessaloniki police said that it had arrested 16 people who allegedly forced young women from eastern Europe into prostitution. The men, 13 Greeks and three foreign nationals, are alleged to have enticed the women to Greece with the promise of work. Officers said that the women were then forced into prostitution. It is not clear how many women were involved. Dealers stung Two men, aged 23 and 24, were arrested in Hania, Crete, after trying to sell 2 kilos of cannabis to an undercover policeman, officers said yesterday. The police had been tipped off about the pair and set up a sting operation, which led to the two suspects being arrested on Tuesday night as they accepted 8,000 euros in cash from the undercover officer. Police are now searching for the dealer that supplied the suspects. Drug arrests Police said yesterday they had arrested 18 people in Thessaloniki last month in connection with drug trafficking and confiscated 3 kilos of heroin and cocaine, two weapons and around 26,000 euros in cash. Police are still searching for one more suspect in connection to the alleged drug trade. Thessaloniki earthquake An earthquake measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale shook Thessaloniki yesterday but there were no reports of injuries or damages. The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki said the epicenter of the tremor, which struck at 10.01 a.m., was located about 40 kilometers south of the city. The earthquake was felt in the northern areas of Halkidiki, Serres and Kilkis.