NEWS

In Brief

HEALTH REFORMS

Minister does away with regional administration centers in shake-up Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said yesterday that the 17 existing regional health administration centers would be merged into just seven centers before they are eventually disbanded altogether within 18 months. Although they were only created in 2001 and reformed last year, Avramapoulos said that a health reform bill which he will submit to Parliament in the next few days will lead to their end. He said that merging 17 centers into seven will save the national health system some 26 million euros over the next year. IMMIGRANT ACCIDENT Police find 60 illegal migrants after truck overturns in northern Greece Police in Pieria, northern Greece, said they had detained 60 illegal immigrants after discovering an overturned truck on a country road early yesterday morning. The migrants were from several countries, including Pakistan, India, Iran and Iraq. Six of them were slightly injured in the accident. The driver of the truck had fled the scene, officers said. CABBIE CHARGED Officer recovering after stabbing A policeman who was stabbed by a taxi driver in Crete on Tuesday was in critical but stable condition in hospital yesterday after undergoing several hours of surgery, doctors said. Yiannis Ieronymakis, who allegedly stabbed Spyros Mavredakis at a cafeteria in Hania, was charged with attempted murder. He has been given until tomorrow to testify before a local magistrate but no lawyer has agreed to take on his defense. As a result, the bar association will appoint one for him. Ieronymakis said he attacked the policeman because of personal differences. Double flash A conscript, aged 20, and a 45-year-old man were arrested yesterday in Athens in two separate cases of indecent exposure, police said. The soldier was arrested outside a primary school in Neo Psychico and the other man was caught in a park in the northeastern suburb of Holargos. Violent mugging Three men were arrested yesterday after allegedly attacking a group of four people returning from a night out in central Athens at 1 a.m. The suspects allegedly stabbed two of their victims and stole a mobile phone and cash from them. A 24-year-old Polish man was being treated at the KAT hospital with knife wounds and another woman was given first aid and then discharged. The three alleged attackers were arrested near the junction of Vassilissis Olgas and Vassilissis Amalias avenues soon after the attack. Energy bill Environmentalist group Greenpeace said yesterday that a draft bill promoting renewable energy sources in Greece can give the environment a lift – provided it is implemented with the right political will. «The government’s excessive optimism can be realistic, even at the last moment, on the condition that no new conventional lignite stations are built,» Greenpeace said as it called for a genuine push toward cleaner energy. Holiday measures Police will implement extra traffic measures this long weekend due to Monday’s Pentecost holiday. Traffic police will be supervising major roads connecting the larger cities and toll booths on national highways. Additionally, trucks will be banned from traveling tomorrow (between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m.) and on Monday (3-11 p.m.). Traffic police also said that Athens-bound lanes on the national highway at Kakia Skala will be closed from this evening until 6 a.m. tomorrow. Ferry rights The Greek Quality of Life Consumer Union (EKPOIZO) reminded ferry passengers yesterday that they are entitled to ask for their money back if their ship is delayed and can demand compensation if the delay is lengthy. Passengers can also claim 50 percent of the ticket cost back if they decide not to travel and inform the ferry company in good time. EKPOIZO said that passengers can claim up to 736.70 euros in compensation if the ferry company loses their luggage. Deadly crash Two people were killed and another was seriously injured in a car accident in Iraklion, Crete, yesterday when two cars collided head-on, police said. Giorgos Neonakis, aged 24, and Manolis Sfirakis, aged 20, were both killed while Alekos Arkoulakis, 20, was taken to a local hospital in critical condition.