NEWS

In Brief

VERIA SEARCH

Police look again in river for clues to boy’s disappearance Some 40 police officers and rescuers yesterday morning began again searching the Tripotamo River in Veria as part of their hunt for 11-year-old Alex Meshivili, who went missing in February. Authorities attempted to stay the flow of the river for several hours and used a special underwater camera to help them search parts that were difficult to access. Officers have searched the river on four previous occasions but have not been able to find any clues. TAX DODGERS Inspectors find half of firms they check to be breaking the law The Economy Ministry’s Special Investigation Service (SIS) said yesterday that more than half of the firms it checked from July 14-17 were evading paying taxes. SIS conducted checks on 316 companies outside Athens and Thessaloniki and found that 161 of them had broken tax laws. These offenses included the sale of some 56,000 liters of fuel without any paperwork. ALL GREEK Interest abroad in learning language The Education Ministry said yesterday that it will open four new language centers abroad due to the high number of people who want to learn Greek. The coordination centers will be in Moscow, covering Russia and central Asia; in Sofia, covering Romania and Bulgaria; in Belgrade, covering Serbia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; and in Brasilia, covering Latin America. Tagarades fire The mayor of Thessaloniki, Vassilis Papageorgopoulos, yesterday blamed the public works ministers of the past 15 years for the state of Greece’s landfills, as a fire continued to burn at the city’s Tagarades dump. Papageorgopoulos said that air pollution readings yesterday morning showed that the number of particles in the air near the landfill was well above danger levels. Blood donation The Health Ministry said yesterday that it will hold a blood donation drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday at its main building on Aristotelous Street in central Athens. This is the latest in a series of appeals by the ministry’s Greek Association of Blood Donors (GABD), which says that blood banks run low in the summer and that it wants people to give blood before they go on holiday. GABD advised people who want to give blood in the morning to have a big breakfast but those donating in the afternoon to come to the center no sooner than two hours after eating lunch. Hania lighthouse Authorities in Hania, Crete, said yesterday that some two-and-a-half years of restoration work on the port’s Venetian lighthouse would be complete by the end of next month. The municipality said that one of the city’s most famous landmarks had to be fully restored due to the wear it had suffered. Authorities said that the lighthouse will be unveiled at a special ceremony toward the end of August. Cheese off The Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) yesterday asked for the recall of a smoked Regaletto cheese being sold under the Calypso brand after inspectors found some samples at a Makro store in Thessaloniki that had gone bad before their expiry date. The two distributors have agreed to withdraw all the cheese manufactured between April 10 and July 13, the watchdog said. EFET advised consumers who had bought the cheese not to eat it. Underage sex The vice squad in Thessaloniki said yesterday that one of its officers had arrested a 58-year-old man because he allegedly paid a senior high school girl to have sex with him. A prosecutor charged the unnamed man with having sex with a minor. Port strike Port workers in Thessaloniki are due to meet on Monday to decide whether to continue with their current industrial action, unionists said yesterday. The Thessaloniki Port Authority wants to change the way that the workers, some 150 people, are paid by giving them a daily salary of 98 euros this year and 101 euros next year. The workers want to maintain their current system of bonuses.