NEWS

In Brief

CONSTITUTION REFORM

New Democracy has submitted its proposal, Parliament speaker says Parliament Speaker Anna Psarouda-Benaki said yesterday that New Democracy had submitted its proposal for a review of the Constitution. The ruling conservatives want to make changes to the Constitution during the next Parliament, which will sit after the general elections that must be held by March 2008. Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said that ND was waiting to hear proposals from opposition parties as well. DIABETES INCREASE Studies show 8.7 percent of Greeks are sufferers but only 1 in 2 know it The proportion of Greeks suffering from diabetes has increased almost fourfold in 30 years with one in two sufferers unaware that they have the disease, experts said yesterday. Studies show that 8.7 percent of the population suffer from diabetes today, up from 2.8 percent in 1970, the president of the Hellenic Diabetes Association, Stavros Pappas, said yesterday ahead of Panhellenic Diabetes Day today. Experts attributed the increase to fat- and sugar-rich diets and sedentary lifestyles. They stressed that people over 45 should check their blood sugar levels once a year. ROBBERY CHARGE Sandwich store worker arrested Police yesterday identified a 33-year-old employee of a well-known sandwich chain as the culprit behind Tuesday’s raid on a branch of National Bank of Greece in the Athenian suburb of Lykovrisi. The suspected thief, who made off with 14,000 euros after holding up the bank with an airgun, was located by police a few hours after the raid. The 33-year-old allegedly told police that he robbed the bank in order to get money to pay off a loan. Taxi strike Taxi drivers in Athens will go on a 24-hour strike on Monday in protest at Transport Ministry plans requiring professional drivers to wear seat belts. The drivers also oppose other expected changes to the law, such as doubling the fine for cars traveling in bus lanes. Bank scam An employee of Eurobank and three other suspects faced an Athens prosecutor yesterday charged with participating in a scam to defraud the bank of more than 42,000 euros. According to police, the bank employee supplied the three other men with the personal details of some Eurobank customers, which the suspects then used to produce forged identity cards. The gang would use these ID cards to withdraw cash from the customers’ accounts. Police said they would always ask tellers for less than 10,000 euros so no other proof of identification was required. Deadly pensioner A pensioner was arrested in Crete early yesterday after he admitted to shooting dead his 55-year-old neighbor, police said. Stylianos Nikitakis, 67, shot Nikolaos Theodoroglakis three times in front of a cafe at the central square in the village of Galata late on Wednesday night. The two men had an argument, police said, without giving any more details. Nikitakis turned himself in soon after the incident and is due to face a prosecutor. He told reporters that he had not meant to kill Theodoroglakis. Yogurt recall Food company Kalomiris AVEE recalled its yogurt products made from sheep’s milk yesterday after tests from the Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) found traces of mercury in the yogurt along with splinters of glass. EFET said that it could not determine the cause of the problem after checking the company’s production facilities. Tanker trouble A tanker transporting 6,200 tons of petrol ran aground off Thessaloniki, authorities said yesterday, but none of the 19 members on board the ship were hurt. The Adele vessel was traveling from Aspropyrgos to Thessaloniki yesterday when it hit a sandbank in the Thermaic Gulf. Preventative measures were taken so that the fuel did not leak, authorities said. Gang busted Police yesterday arrested three men in Trikala, central Greece, after finding in their possession 67 kilos of cannabis that had been brought into the country from Albania. The suspects are believed to be part of an international narcotics smuggling operation, police added.