NEWS

In Brief

FINE HIKE

Fare dodgers on public transport face penalty 60 times ticket price Passengers trying to get a free ride on public transport will be hit with a fine 60 times the price of the fare as of July 20, the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA) said yesterday. The fine, currently 40 times the ticket price, will be increased in a bid to cut the tens of thousands of euros in revenues lost from fare cheats. Surveys show that passengers without a ticket in central or western Athens are normally foreigners while on the other Athens routes the fare cheats are normally «forgetful» Greeks. HOMELESS BRAWL Man, 25, kills 65-year-old over space in shared derelict house A 25-year-old homeless man killed a 65-year-old Cretan following a row over sleeping space in a shared derelict house in Iraklion, police said yesterday. The unnamed man, from Drama, allegedly hit his elderly companion over the head with a slab of cement after finding him sleeping in his spot in the early hours of yesterday morning. The young man admitted to the crime after police found the blood-stained cement slab outside the derelict house. CITIZENS’ CENTER Syntagma KEP marks 5 years The citizens’ information and service center (KEP) in central Athens has helped around 2.5 million citizens, Prefect for Athens and Piraeus Fofi Gennimata said yesterday at a ceremony marking the fifth anniversary of the Syntagma KEP’s operation. KEPs can approve certain official documents as well as give advice on bureaucratic procedures, including tax obligations. The event was also attended by Athens Prefect Yiannis Sgouros and Piraeus Prefect Yiannis Michas. Two arrested A 24-year-old man and a 16-year-old male were arrested in Athens yesterday accused of 13 counts of theft, police said. The pair are believed to have stolen two small trucks, eight motorcycles, two stereos and jewelry items from the end of May to the start of July. No ambulances Ambulance workers from the National First Aid Center (EKAB) in Hania, Crete, went on a 24-hour strike yesterday over a pay dispute. Workers claim that lack of staff is EKAB’s largest problem and that the local service should employ 45 people instead of the current staff of 25. Drug trafficking Police yesterday arrested a 33-year-old man accused of drug trafficking after finding in his possession more than 150 ecstasy pills. Following a search of the suspect’s home, police also uncovered a kilo of cannabis, and other small quantities of narcotics, authorities added. Three more men who were allegedly on the premises to buy drugs were also arrested. Samothrace damages Heavy rainfall resulted in damages of more than 500,000 euros on the northern Aegean island of Samothrace in the last few days, municipal authorities said yesterday. The storm damaged the island’s road network, bridges and olive plantations, according to Evros Deputy Mayor Michalis Kougioumtzis. Illegal immigrants Port Authority officials on Samos yesterday detained 13 illegal immigrants on the island’s Poseidonio beach, bringing to 133 the number of migrants at the island’s reception center. Of the would-be migrants, eight were Afghans and five Somalians. Strike threat Firefighters in Hania, Crete, threatened to take industrial action yesterday to protest the use of their services in rescue operations which stretch their resources. The firefighters, hired on a seasonal basis, said they are often called to help in rescue operations in forests even though they have not been supplied with the right equipment. Armed mugging Two armed men mugged a security guard carrying a case of cash out of a supermarket in the western Athenian district of Peristeri yesterday afternoon. No one was hurt in the raid, after which the armed pair fled on foot. It was unclear how much they netted.