NEWS

In Brief

FOILED ESCAPE

Three convicts charged with attempt to break out of Korydallos Prison A prosecutor yesterday charged three convicts with attempting to escape from maximum-security Korydallos Prison by filing through two iron bars covering their cell window. Prison guards became aware of the alleged breakout attempt on Saturday after discovering that the bars had been covered with chewing gum and adhesive tape. Guards moved the convicts to other parts of the prison. The three convicts are Greek and not foreigners, as was initially claimed, and are due to stand trial today. DRUG TIPS Two men caught over website offering advice on growing marijuana Two men, aged 25 and 29, have been arrested for allegedly running two websites which advised people how to cultivate and use illegal drugs, police in Athens said yesterday. Officers raided the apartments of the two men last week and found that they were growing cannabis plants. The men were also posting photographs of the process online and advising visitors to their sites how to grow the plants and use drugs as well as advising them on the prices of illegal substances, police said. A prosecutor has filed criminal charges against the pair. NURSERY CLOSED Building deemed unsafe, unlicensed A nursery in the suburb of Aghios Dimitrios, southeastern Athens, has been closed down for operating without a license for more than five years and for containing structures that pose a danger to children, prefectural authorities said yesterday. Specifically, authorities were concerned about the stability of a chipboard roof over an indoor play area, the glass covering another area and an excessively steep staircase. Also, an infants’ play area was deemed to be inadequately ventilated. EU funds A government-appointed committee is due to meet today to assess Greece’s progress in absorbing European Union funds from the Third Community Support Framework (CSF III) as fears grow that the country could miss out on some 11 billion euros due to low absorption. The government has until the end of the year to agree and sign the contracts for the projects to be covered by CSF III funds. Contracts which were signed up to June 1 covered 22.8 billion euros of EU funding but 11.3 billion euros are still up for grabs. Elefsina eleven Police said yesterday they had arrested three people west of Athens and were looking for another eight in connection with the defrauding of several banks over the last two years. The 11 suspects allegedly forged identification cards and other documents to obtain credit cards and bank loans which they did not repay. Officers said they had conned 19 banks over the last two years, pilfering 326,000 euros in the process. They were also responsible for 31 attempts to defraud banks, officers said. The gang mainly operated in Elefsina. Bad food The Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) yesterday imposed a total fine of 132,500 euros on eight food producers and retailers across the country for violations of health regulations or transgressions of food standards and specifications. The owners of all eight firms were indicted to appear before a prosecutor. Publisher appeal The convicted far-right publisher Grigoris Michalopoulos began his appeal against an 18-year jail sentence at an Athens court yesterday. Michalopoulos, the publisher of the Eleftheri Ora newspaper, was jailed last April after a court found him guilty of blackmailing two of Greece’s biggest businessmen, Theodoros Angelopoulos and Yiannis Latsis, by telling them they were targets of the November 17 terrorist group and demanding large sums to have them removed from its hit list. Train lines The Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) said that as of yesterday a direct line from Thessaloniki to Vienna began running. OSE added that a direct line linking Thessaloniki to Moscow started operating on June 8. Traffic disruption The Environment Ministry said yesterday that Athens-bound traffic on the Corinth-Athens national highway will be cut off this evening at Kakia Skala due to construction work. Traffic will be redirected to the old national highway.