NEWS

In Brief

PATRIARCH TALKS

Vartholomaios meets PM, ministers in Athens to discuss Patriarchate Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios, the spiritual leader of Greek Orthodox Christians, met with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis at the Maximos Mansion in central Athens yesterday. Vartholomaios is on a weeklong visit to Greece which will culminate in a trip to the semi-autonomous monastic community on Mount Athos on Saturday. The Patriarch also met with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis yesterday. Bakoyannis reiterated the government’s support for the patriarch’s effort to be recognized as an ecumenical leader by the Turkish government. Vartholomaios also met Education and Religion Minister Marietta Giannakou. DRIVER CRUSHED Man, 45, dies in mysterious accident at power plant in northern Greece A 45-year-old driver was killed at a power plant in Ptolemaida, northern Greece, the Public Power Corporation (PPC) said yesterday. The victim appeared to have been crushed to death but the cause of the accident was not clear. According to PPC it took place as the driver was unloading lignite from his vehicle. The power company said that Giorgos Nitsos was working for a contractor who had undertaken duties for PPC. An investigation has been launched to determine the exact causes of the incident. FRAUDSTERS WANTED Attica lawyer is key suspect Police said yesterday they are searching for a 36-year-old lawyer from Attica believed to be in charge of an operation that forged power-of-attorney documents in order to steal large cash amounts from victims. Under the scheme, personal details of the victims were stolen from bank accounts and stock market codes and then written on forged documents. With those documents, the lawyer was able to extract amounts of up to 50,000 euros from banks. Police said they arrested a 49-year-old man on Monday who is believed to have also taken part in the forgery ring. Grandmother killed Police in Naoussa, northern Greece, were searching yesterday for a 29-year-old man who is believed to have beaten his grandmother to death. Officers said the unnamed suspect allegedly hit the 76-year-old woman in the yard of her house in the village of Episkopi. A neighbor told authorities that she witnessed the beating. The victim, who was not named either, was taken to a hospital but was declared dead on arrival. Food penalties The Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) imposed 260,000 euros’ worth of fines on 15 food companies in northern Greece for failing to meet health regulations, it said yesterday. The businesses that incurred the penalties included a supermarket, a bakery, a cheese producer and a canteen. Sailors rescued Five Turkish sailors were airlifted to safety amid gale-force winds and taken to a hospital in Kalamata, in the Peloponnese, early yesterday morning after being forced to abandon their cargo ship when it suffered engine failure just off the island of Kythera. Three vessels were also directed to the scene by rescue services after the Cambodian-flagged Pasha issued a distress call. One of the ships towed the stricken vessel to safety so the coast guard could examine it. Railway thieves Two young Roma men believed to be behind the theft of some 200,000 euros’ worth of cables and other equipment from the national and Athens suburban railway network have been arrested, police said yesterday. The men, aged 19 and 29, caused widespread damage and risked the lives of passengers after removing masses of copper wire and optical fibers from the rail networks, police said. Officers have not ruled out sabotage as a motive for the alleged crime. Bank raid Two armed robbers raided a bank in the coastal suburb of Palaio Faliron shortly after 10 a.m. yesterday. The thieves, one wearing a hat and the other a black wig, fled on foot with an undetermined sum after emptying two safes. Watch recall The Development Ministry yesterday announced the recall of the Suunto D9 and D6 scuba diving watches. Importer Aqua Team has distributed 63 of the watches in the local market since 2004, the ministry added.