NEWS

In Brief

YEAR-ROUND ATHENS

Capital to host second City Break Exhibition from June 11-13, 2007 The government is throwing its weight behind a campaign to promote Athens as a city break destination, Tourism Development Minister Fanni Palli-Petralia said yesterday at a press conference with Athens Mayor Theodoros Behrakis to announce that Athens will host the second City Break Exhibition from June 11-13, 2007. The event will be sponsored by European Cities Tourism, ahead of ECT’s annual summer conference in Athens. The city break sector now accounts for 38 percent of all European outbound travel. Last year saw a 20 percent increase in city breaks, as opposed to a 3 percent increase in sun and beach holidays. ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS More than 400 migrants detained last month in Attica crackdowns Police in Attica intercepted 441 illegal immigrants last month in a series of crackdowns, officers said yesterday. A total of 791 foreigners, as well as 83 Greeks were taken in for questioning following identity checks on 9,896 people – 6,875 foreigners and 3,021 Greeks, officers said. According to Attica’s illegal immigration unit, many foreigners in Greece illegally acquire forged documents to be able to travel on to other European countries or work as illegal street traders. GRAFT PROBE Zissis to face questioning this month The former vice president of the Supreme Court, Achilleas Zissis, was yesterday given until September 26 before he is questioned by magistrates in connection with corruption allegations. Zissis has been accused of attempting to influence judges during the trials of two businessmen. Magistrates Yiannis Sideris and Yiannis Fiorakis, who are investigating claims of corruption in the judiciary, gave Zissis more time to prepare for his questioning after a request from the former judge. Pensioner scorched An 80-year-old woman was burned alive yesterday in her first-floor apartment in Vyronas, eastern Athens, the fire service said. The pensioner was found lying on the kitchen floor and was probably rendered unconscious by the fumes from the fire, officials said. The cause of the fire is being investigated but firefighters said that it was most likely caused by an electrical short circuit. Traffickers arrested A foreign national who was detained with another 20 illegal immigrants in a boat off the Dodecanese island of Kalymnos on Wednesday was arrested yesterday on suspicion that he had helped smuggle the migrants into Greece, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The nationality of the alleged trafficker was not made public. Meanwhile, two foreign nationals, aged 38 and 31, were arrested late on Wednesday in the port of Igoumenitsa, northwestern Greece, after 11 illegal immigrants were found hiding in the camper van the two men were traveling in. The ministry said that the suspects were trying to smuggle the migrants out of Greece. New ambulances The Health Ministry has started procedures toward the purchase of 240 new ambulances, Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said yesterday. The minister added that the announcement concerning the hiring of 185 employees will be made immediately, while new National First Aid Center (EKAB) centers will be opened in Drama, Grevena, Florina, Karpenisi and Kastoria. Electric robbery Two armed men held up a Germanos electrical goods store near central Athens yesterday and made off with an unspecified amount of cash, police said. The masked men threatened staff at the shop on Lenorman Street in Kolonos at around 2 p.m. Man drowns A 75-year-old man drowned at a beach near Hania, Crete, yesterday, according to police. Authorities said that 18 people drowned at Hania beaches this summer.