NEWS

In Brief

POLICEMAN CRITICAL

Lieutenant injured in attempted suicide prompted by ‘health concerns’ A traffic police officer was in critical condition yesterday after attempting suicide shortly after coming on duty at the traffic police station in Kallithea, southern Athens. According to the police, the unnamed police lieutenant tried to shoot himself in the head with his service revolver at 7 a.m. It was the officer’s first day at work at the Kallithea station. He had previously been posted at the traffic police station in Keratea, east of Athens. The police said that the lieutenant’s attempted suicide may have been linked to health problems but did not release further details. CORRUPTION TALK PM not unhappy with progress against graft, spokesman insists Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos yesterday denied comments attributed to the prime minister in which Costas Karamanlis allegedly expressed disappointment with the government’s lack of progress in fighting corruption. «On the contrary, the prime minister argued that the government has made a very big effort to confront corruption,» Roussopoulos said. Karamanlis is alleged to have made the comments during a meeting with industrialists from northern Greece on Wednesday. FARE DODGING Fines are increasing from today People caught dodging fares on public transport from today will have to pay 60 times the price of the ticket that they should have bought and validated. In a move announced earlier this year, the penalty is increasing by 50 percent in an effort to stamp out fare dodging. It is estimated that 12 percent of bus passengers do not buy tickets while 5 percent of commuters on the train, tram and metro dodge fares. The penalty for anyone caught without a valid ticket on the express bus to Athens International Airport will rise to 20 times the cost of the ticket – double the previous amount. Driver robbed A taxi driver was robbed in Aghios Stefanos, northern Athens, early yesterday by two men, police said. After picking up the pair, both foreign nationals, the 57-year-old driver refused to continue driving beyond Aghios Stefanos, becasue he felt that something was not right. The two men then threatened him with a knife and stole his mobile phone and 150 euros. Computer lessons The City of Athens is offering a new series of computer skills seminars aimed at migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, City Hall said yesterday. A total of four seminar cycles (two morning and two evening), each involving 10 students, will be conducted. The seminars will begin on October 2 and November 13 and are organized in cooperation with Microsoft Hellas. Those interested should submit their application and documentation between September 4 and September 22, at the City of Athens Multicultural Center, 45 Meizonos Street in Metaxourgeio, central Athens, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Police car torched Arsonists set fire to a police car yesterday parked outside the Evelpidon Courts in Athens, causing minor damage to the vehicle. A bottle containing flammable liquid was placed under the car which had been parked by an officer escorting an inmate to a court appearance. No one was hurt in the incident. Mild tremor An earthquake measuring 4 on the Richter scale hit the area of Patras yesterday, authorities said. There were no reports of injuries or damage. The earthquake, which occurred shortly before 1 p.m., had its epicenter in the Antirio region. Arson attack Arsonists set fire to a building in Aghios Dimitrios, southeast Athens, early yesterday using gas canisters and flammable liquids, police said. The building was going to house a Panathinaikos fan club. The fire caused substantial damage to the building but nobody was injured, officers said. Migrants caught The coast guard detained a total of 20 illegal immigrants on three different islands on Wednesday, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. Six migrants were picked up in Marmari, on the island of Evia. Another six were found on the eastern Aegean island of Samos, while another eight immigrants were discovered in a small boat off the island of Lesvos.