NEWS

In Brief

SMELLY KIFISSOS

Residents call on inspectors over stench from pollutants in river Residents living close to the Kifissos River called in health inspectors yesterday to investigate a pungent smell in the area which appeared to have been caused by the dumping of pollutants in the water. The inspectors from the Piraeus Prefecture found that water in a section of the river in the Neo Faliron area in southern Athens had turned dark green. The inspectors said that an unknown substance had flowed into the river from a large sewage pipe in nearby Moschato. TAX COLLECTOR Civil servant stole 700,000 euros An employee of the tax office in Domokos, central Greece, was given a five-year jail sentence yesterday after being found guilty of embezzling up to -700,000. The missing funds were discovered when a colleague filled in at work for the unnamed man while he was on leave. The money had been taken from the tax office over several years, the court heard. The civil servant said he regretted his action but lodged an appeal against his sentence. He was freed pending the appeal. Suicide averted A man who climbed up a water tower in Kastoria, northern Greece, and threatened to shoot himself gave in to police early yesterday after hours of negotiations. The 45-year-old man was armed with a shotgun and ascended the water tower on Wednesday evening. He said he wanted to kill himself because his estranged wife allegedly refused to allow him to see his two children. A police negotiator was called in and the man acquiesced at 4 a.m. Chios migrants Coast guard officers discovered 54 illegal immigrants on a beach on the eastern Aegean island of Chios yesterday, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The migrants, including six children, had sailed to the southern part of the island from Turkey in two wooden boats, officers said. The migrants were taken to the local hospital for medical tests. Gas guzzlers Transport Minister Michalis Liapis signed an agreement yesterday to allow any car, bus or truck to use natural gas instead of diesel or unleaded petrol. The vehicles will be allowed to use the cleaner form of fuel provided they have an engine which meets certain European Union standards. Liapis said the process to allow more gas stations to sell natural gas has also been completed. Arson attack Assailants threw petrol bombs at a New Democracy office in Ilioupolis, eastern Athens, at around 4 a.m. yesterday, police said. No injuries or arrests were reported but the attack caused minor damage to the building.