NEWS

In Brief

DRINKING WATER

EYDAP challenges press reports, says there are no impurities The Athens Water Supply and Sewage Company (EYDAP) yesterday rejected as groundless recent press reports alleging that the country’s tap water is infected with impurities and poses a health risk for citizens. «The water distributed for consumption fulfills all standards of quality and this has been certified by the most reliable laboratories and in the hundreds of systematic daily inspections conducted at every point of the network,» said a statement issued yesterday by EYDAP. The water board also rejected allegations about excessive chlorination of its drinking water. JAILS CRITICIZED Cells overcrowded and inmates denied basic hygiene, group says The detention conditions in Greek jails are unacceptable, with cells excessively overcrowded and prisoners denied access to hygiene services, human rights groups said at a press conference yesterday. «The essential rights of inmates are not being safeguarded. We cannot ignore this phenomenon of modern indifference,» Nikos Manios, the president of a group consisting of former convicts, told reporters. Apart from the improvement of detention conditions, campaigners are also pressing for the introduction of new legislation relating to imprisoned juveniles. MISSING FISHERMAN Search for FYROM national in river Rescue workers, policemen and firefighters in northern Greece were yesterday searching for a 52-year-old amateur fisherman from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) after he went missing in the raging waters of the Axios River, near the town of Kilkis. The man and two friends from FYROM had obtained licenses to fish along the river and had positioned themselves on a bridge near the village of Axioupolis. The 52-year-old, however, decided to wade into the river and was immediately swept away, authorities said. Deadly plunge A 41-year-old man was found dead on Sunday, authorities said yesterday, after jumping from the side of a mountain in Pella, northern Greece with a parachute. The man was a member of a base-jumping club, which practices the extreme sport of leaping from a fixed object rather than an airplane and then deploying a parachute. A search was launched for the man after he failed to land at the center used by the club in the area of Arnissa. His body was found in a forest at an altitude of 1,550 meters, police said. Bourboulia husband The husband of former magistrate Constantina Bourboulia, who is awaiting trial on trial-fixing charges, has been called to testify before the judges investigating the case, court sources said yesterday. Thomas Amorgianos has been accused of money laundering and other illegal activity after large deposits were found in joint bank accounts he shared with Bourboulia. She was arrested in France four months ago but has yet to stand trial in Greece as she is suffering from serious health problems. Cannabis arrests Police on the Greek-Albanian border, close to Ioannina, arrested three Albanian nationals yesterday who had allegedly attempted to carry into Greece 103 kilos of cannabis in five sacks. The men, according to police, entered Greece on foot by sneaking through an unprotected point at the border. Police have launched a manhunt for a fourth member of the gang who managed to get way. Struggling cat Passengers on a high-speed catamaran traveling from Piraeus to Hydra were held up for more than two hours east of the island of Aegina yesterday morning after a fishing net became entangled in the vessel’s engine, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The incident occurred at around 9 a.m. Engineers tried to repair the damage but the Flying Cat III was forced to set sail under limited power at 11.20 a.m. It was escorted by the coast guard to Hydra where the 118 passengers disembarked. Farm aid The Hellenic Agricultural Insurance Organization (ELGA) said yesterday that it will pay 9.4 million euros today in compensation to farmers that suffered damage as a result of bad weather conditions in the last quarter of 2005 and the first two months of 2006.