Soccer fan awarded 90,230 euros in damages after losing eye at game A court in Athens yesterday ordered the state to pay 90,230 euros in damages to a soccer fan who lost an eye at a soccer match three years ago. Achilleas Dragoumis was hit by a flare during the Olympiakos-Panathinaikos game in May 2003. The flare smashed his glasses and shards cut into his left eye, causing him to lose vision in it. Dragoumis argued that police measures had been inadequate before the game. The court found that police did not conduct adequate searches of supporters entering the stadium. Dragoumis’s lawyer has appealed the decision and is demanding 1 million euros in damages. ALEX INVESTIGATION Missing boy’s parents appear before prosecutor probing disappearance The mother and stepfather of 11-year-old Alex Meshivili, who has been missing since February, gave evidence for some three hours in Thessaloniki yesterday to special investigative magistrate Michalakis Georgiou, who has been assigned to investigate the boy’s disappearance. Alex’s mother Natela Ichuadze is due to give further evidence on October 18. Five schoolboys have been charged with murdering Alex in February and then disposing of the body. Their parents have also been charged with failing to control their children. But authorities have yet to find Alex’s body. DRIVER ARRESTED School bus had no license, insurance A school bus driver was arrested in Kapandriti, northern Attica, yesterday after traffic police stopped the vehicle and discovered that the bus was not licensed or insured. The bus had been carrying junior high school students. The driver was not named. Meanwhile, officers stopped a school bus from continuing its journey in Kamatero, western Athens, after checks revealed that the vehicle had not passed a vehicle inspection test (KTEO). Airports delays Athens International Airport had the fifth-longest delays for departures and arrivals at European airports in 2005, according to a study by the Association of European Airlines which was made public yesterday. Flights to and from Athens were delayed by some 40 minutes on average – two minutes less than Madrid, which topped the survey. Papadopoulos pressured Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos came under attack from opposition parties yesterday after it was revealed that his aides had accepted a donation from a foreign company before he was elected in 2003. Papadopoulos’s campaign managers confirmed they received a payment of 50,000 Cypriot pounds (86,000 euros) from British-based petroleum company Watford Petroleum. The firm said the money was paid to a lawyer – the campaign manager – for unrelated litigation fees. The government said that no rules were broken but opposition parties said it highlighted a lack of transparency. Rheumatism strikes More than a quarter of Greeks suffer from rheumatism, a set of medical problems that can affect the heart, bones, joints, kidney, skin and lungs, according to figures made public yesterday. The Greek Rheumatology Society said ahead of a conference which is due to begin in Alexandroupolis tomorrow that some 2.9 million people suffer from one of around 200 different rheumatic disorders. The most common problem is osteoporosis. Rheumatism is responsible for 26 percent of work absenteeism and the second most common reason for sick days being taken by employees. Off guard Police arrested yesterday a 53-year-old man in Athens for allegedly obtaining a loan and consumer goods on credit by using forged documents showing him to be a member of the coast guard. The suspect is said to have bought almost 15,000 euros’ worth of goods on credit and to have also taken out a 15,000-euro loan. IKEA recall The Development Ministry said yesterday that homewares retailer IKEA is recalling its Lycksele sofa bed due to a faulty hand mechanism that runs the risk of harming the user’s fingers. IKEA has sold almost 10,000 items of the furniture model. Customers can call 801.112.2722 for more details.