NEWS

In Brief

EMPORIKI SALE

French bank to make new offer after meeting with Alogoskoufis France’s Credit Agricole (CA) will increase its 23.50-euro-per-share offer to buy 100 percent of Emporiki Bank in a proposal that will be submitted to the Capital Markets Commission this morning, Finance Ministry sources said. Late yesterday, Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis met with CA’s CEO Georges Pauget to discuss the sale of Greece’s fourth-largest bank. CONFIDENCE BUILDING Greek army chief meets Turkish counterpart in Ankara for talks The head of the Greek armed forces Admiral Panayiotis Hinofotis and his Turkish counterpart General Hilmi Ozkok yesterday met in Ankara to discuss the implementation of confidence-building measures between their two countries. The talks came two months after a Greek pilot was killed when the jet he was flying collided with a Turkish jet over the Aegean. Both countries tried to defuse tension after the incident, pledging to activate a hotline between their air force commands to avert a similar occurrence. Ozkok is due to be replaced next month by Yasar Buyukanit, who is viewed as a hardliner. MOTHER OVERDOSES Parent of missing Alex out of danger Natela Ichuadze, the mother of missing 11-year-old Alex Meshivili, was hospitalized in Veria yesterday after overdosing on sedatives. Sources said that she took the drugs after being told by police that despite continuing investigations they have no further evidence of the possible whereabouts of her son. Doctors said that Ichuadze’s health was not in any danger. Cannabis bust Two men, both Greek nationals, were arrested in Ioannina, northern Greece, yesterday when the car in which they were traveling failed to stop at a police checkpoint. After a short car chase, the vehicle swerved out of control and crashed into a ditch. Police found more than 18 kilos of cannabis hidden in the vehicle. Separately in Ioannina, guards intercepted a parcel addressed to an inmate that contained 5.6 grams of heroin that had been hidden in a magazine. Vanishing baby A mother who thought she had lost her 2-year-old child at a park in Thessaloniki was relieved soon afterward when officers found the baby sitting in a trash can, police said yesterday. The woman had gone to the park on Tuesday night and lost sight of her child while speaking on her mobile phone. She rang the police and after a brief search of the area, officers found the child unharmed. Consular closure The consular section of the US Embassy in Athens, including the visa department, will be closed on Monday for internal reasons, officials said yesterday. In case of an emergency, people are advised to call 210.720.2490 or 210.720.2492 between 8.30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Pensioner robbed Two men broke into a house in Menidi, northern Athens, and tied up and robbed a 90-year-old woman, police said yesterday. The robbers tied the woman up with a scarf before stealing 80 euros. The pensioner managed to free herself a few hours later and called the police. Market violations The Development Ministry said yesterday that an inspection team had detected 136 violations at open-air markets in Athens and Piraeus over a two-month period, between May 15 to July 22. The violations included stall holders not in possession of the required tax paperwork. The inspectors imposed fines or ordered the shutdown of market stalls. Illegal immigrants The coast guard yesterday detained 18 illegal immigrants, including three children, on the Aegean island of Samos, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The migrants, mostly from Libya, Lebanon and Syria, told authorities that they reached the island on a boat from Turkey. Tourist safe Rescue workers found yesterday an 81-year-old Danish tourist who had gone missing on Tuesday morning in the Evangelistria area on the island of Samos. The unnamed man, suffering from minor injuries, was found in a mountainous area and was taken to a local health clinic.