NEWS

In Brief

MITSOTAKIS SURGERY

Former PM recuperating after sudden double bypass operation Former Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis successfully underwent a double bypass operation, doctors at the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Athens said yesterday. The announcement that Mitsotakis was going into surgery was made after the honorary chairman of New Democracy was admitted to the center for routine medical checks yesterday. Doctors said 88-year-old Mitsotakis, who was prime minister from 1990 to 1993, was being kept in an intensive care unit but did not give any more details last night on his condition. BOMB HOAX Teenagers charged after claiming device was planted at a tax office Two teenagers were yesterday charged with spreading false news and causing the unnecessary mobilization of the emergency services after calling the police and claiming they had planted a bomb at the tax office in Lavrion, east of Athens. The two boys, aged 16 and 17, used a friend’s mobile phone to call authorities but officers managed to track the pair down. The unnamed teenagers were released from custody after being charged. DRUG MIX-UP Warning about incorrect heart pills Authorities yesterday advised people taking the Digoxin Sandoz medicine for heart problems that batch 6K542 had been mixed up with a different drug and the pills should not be used. Novartis Hellas, the company which distributes the drug in Greece, said that the suspect batch has an expiry date of September 2011 and had become mixed up with the Methergin drug which is meant to be used by women suffering gynecological problems. Canteen prices The Development Ministry yesterday set new maximum prices for a range of food and refreshments sold by canteens. The most that canteens will be able to charge for a 500ml bottle of mineral water is 50 cents. A 750ml bottle can cost no more than 70 cents. Coffees, including espresso and Greek coffee, can be sold for a maximum of 1.50 euros. A ham and cheese sandwich should cost no more than 1.50 euros as well, the ministry decreed. TV channels rapped The National Council for Radio and Television (ESR) yesterday fined five television channels a total of 100,000 euros for their coverage of the murder of five hunters near Agrinion, central Greece, in November. Alter, Alpha, Mega, Antenna and Star were fined for either making public details of the preliminary testimony or for intruding on people’s «moments of personal pain and grief.» A 37-year-old farmer and his 73-year-old father are being held in connection to the murders. Migrants detained Border police yesterday detained five illegal immigrants and their suspected smuggler after stopping the car in which they were traveling on the road from Komotini to Alexandroupolis. A police patrol car chased the vehicle after the suspected smuggler failed to stop at a police signal. The latter was eventually caught after stopping the car and attempting to flee on foot. The would-be migrants said they paid a total of 15,000 euros to be smuggled into Greece. All six faced a prosecutor in Alexandroupolis yesterday. Bank heist Two armed men held up a branch of Eurobank in the Michanionia district of Thessaloniki yesterday, police said. Two other men were waiting on motorbikes outside the bank and rode off with the suspects. It was not immediately known how much money the robbers took. Nobody was hurt in the incident. Food fines The Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) said yesterday it fined six food companies in December for violating health regulations. Most of the businesses were butchers and meat packers that had been storing meat in unsuitable conditions or had labeled imported products as local produce. Thessaloniki arrests Police in Thessaloniki yesterday arrested a 29-year-old man accused of stealing 1,250 euros from a Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) ticket office. Separately, a 52-year-old man was arrested, also in the northern Greek city, for allegedly stealing 113 euros from a church. No further details were available.