NEWS

In Brief

JUDICIARY SLAMMED

Top lawyer says judges not serious about stamping out corruption The head of the Athens Bar Association Dimitris Paxinos yesterday accused judges and prosecutors of not truly wanting to eradicate corruption from the justice system. «They do not want the cleanup of the justice system to go ahead; they want to shelter it [from interference],» Paxinos said. He accused the judges of acting like political party barons and only allowing the «small fry» to be investigated. Relations between judges and lawyers have come under strain recently because of Justice Ministry proposals that lawyers should take part in the regular inspection of judges’ rulings. SLOW CLEAR-UP Chemical factory free of dangerous substances 16 years after closing The last 40 tons of fertilizers were removed yesterday from the Diana chemical factory near Thessaloniki, 16 years after the firm shut down. Residents of Stavroupolis fought hard for years for the removal of the hazardous chemicals from the site, but it was not until 2003 that the authorities made the first efforts up the factory by removing 765 tons of fertilizers. Officials said they will now try to deodorize the building, which has had a lingering stench that bothers Stavroupolis residents. The prefecture has proposed turning the site into a sports complex. COUNCILOR STABBED Official suffers ‘unprovoked’ assault A newly elected councilor for the Municipality of Acharnes was treated at an Athens hospital yesterday after being stabbed by an unidentified assailant. Mattheos Theodoridis, 58, was attacked at around 10.30 p.m. on Tuesday in Menidi, western Athens, where he had gone to meet a female friend who called him after being involved in a road accident. As Theodoridis arrived at the scene of the accident, he was attacked by an assailant who stabbed him in the stomach and back before fleeing. There did not appear to be a motive behind the attack. Illegal rice Greenpeace environmentalists yesterday accused the government of failing to properly enforce food safety rules in the market after it found illegal genetically modified rice being sold in supermarkets. The US rice was found on the shelves of 19 supermarkets, including the Marinopoulos, Sklavenitis, Vassilopoulos and Veropoulos chains. The Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) said that it does not have the power to order the withdrawal of the products, according to Greenpeace. School attacked A group of youths wearing hoods threw eggs, rocks and a Molotov cocktail that failed to explode at a secondary school in Petroupolis, western Athens, authorities said yesterday. The gang traveling on motorcycles attacked the school shortly after midnight. The school guard reported the incident to police. Drug stakeout Police were lying in wait yesterday for three Albanian men who unloaded 500 kilos of hashish from a boat on a remote beach near the village of Astakos in western Greece, officers said. Authorities had found some 700 kilos of hashish on the same beach two months ago and mounted an operation to arrest the traffickers who were smuggling the drugs from Albania. After being arrested, the three unnamed suspects were taken to a prosecutor in Mesolongi to be charged. Road tax The Economy and Finance Ministry reminded vehicle owners yesterday that the cost of road tax for cars and motorcycles will not increase for the coming year. For example, owners of cars with 1.3-liter or smaller engines will have to pay 93 euros. Road tax for motorcycles with engines under 300cc will cost 15 euros. The stickers will be available from November 1 until December 29. Drivers who receive official notification can renew their road tax at banks, post offices and the postal savings bank. Those who have not been notified should go to their local tax office to renew the tax. Murder probe A 54-year-old man was found dead in his Yiannitsa apartment in northern Greece yesterday in an apparent murder. The victim’s family, who live in the Netherlands, asked neighbors to check up on him after they failed to reach him over the last few days. The man had suffered serious head injuries.