NEWS

In Brief

PORT STRIKE

Staff protest plans to cede some services to private enterprise Port Authority staff in Piraeus and Thessaloniki yesterday staged protests outside the authority’s offices in the two cities in protest to plans to cede the management of certain Port Authority services to private enterprises. In Thessaloniki, where staff staged a four-hour work stoppage, there were scuffles with police when staff tried to force their way into a session of the Port Authority’s board of directors. Staff in both ports are to strike today and tomorrow. Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis insists that the government does not aim to privatize but to «upgrade» certain services. RAPE COVERAGE Four TV stations fined total of 730,000 euros for footage The National Broadcasting Council yesterday imposed a total fine of 730,000 euros on four private television channels for their inappropriately graphic coverage of the alleged rape of a 16-year-old schoolgirl in Evia. The largest fine of 250,000 euros went to Antenna for its «Apodeixeis» (Evidence) program, which aired blurred videos of schoolchildren having sex. Antenna got an additional fine of 150,000 euros for its news bulletin coverage and Alpha was fined the same amount for its news bulletin. Alter and Mega were hit with 100,000 euros and 80,000 euros of fines respectively for their news bulletin coverage of the alleged rape. CHEATING COUSIN 220,000 euros stolen A 43-year-old man has been arrested in Thessaloniki on suspicion of fraud, police said yesterday after he allegedly stole 220,000 euros from his first cousin, with whom he shares the same name. The suspect is believed to have mistakenly received earlier this month bank documents that belonged to his first cousin. The alleged fraudster then withdrew 220,000 euros from the account and deposited the money in eight different accounts with the help of a 38-year-old accomplice, police added. Patras earthquake An earthquake measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale shook Patras yesterday, authorities said, but there were no reports of injuries or damages. The tremor’s epicenter was located in the Patraiko Gulf at a depth of ten kilometers at about 1.30 p.m. Car torched A car belonging to the Turkish embassy was torched in Pangrati, police said yesterday. Minor damage was caused to the vehicle, but there were no reports of injuries. Ship theft The coast guard arrested a 59-year-old antiques dealer suspected of selling items that had been stolen from boats moored at Piraeus, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. The store owner is believed to have bought high-value copper items that had been stolen from boats, such as magnetic shipping compasses. Coast guard officials also arrested a 37-year-old man who is believed to have taken part in the operation. Cocaine bust Police said yesterday they arrested two men in Thessaloniki after they found in their possession 2.5 kilos of cocaine. Authorities also found in the apartment shared by the two suspects, a Greek and Albanian national, nearly 50,000 euros in cash and a notebook in which they had recorded their drug transactions. Human trafficking Four Albanian nationals were arrested in Thessaloniki early yesterday accused of smuggling 11 illegal immigrants into Greece, police said. The suspects were found transporting the illegal immigrants, who are all from Bangladesh, in three separate vehicles in the northern Greek city.