Nine-year-old safe and well in Crete after large-scale search A 9-year-old boy who had gone missing outside of Iraklion, Crete, on Sunday afternoon was found alive and well yesterday after a large rescue operation. Rescue teams, firefighters, police and medical officials joined residents in the search for the child in the Mochos area. The boy, named Odysseas, had strayed from his parents while going for a walk with them in a forested area. He was found resting among bushes and was taken to a hospital for precautionary checks. Authorities said he suffers from communication problems. Police had also flown to Crete a heat-seeking camera on board a helicopter to help with the rescue attempt. EASTER TRAFFIC Maliakos Gulf only major snag as thousands return to Athens The line of cars passing through the Maliakos Gulf section of the Athens-Thessaloniki national road stretched up to 10 kilometers yesterday afternoon as tens of thousands of Athenians returned to the capital after the Easter break. Extensive roadwork on the notoriously dangerous stretch of highway meant that cars were forced to slow down through a series of diversions. By yesterday evening, the traffic in Maliakos had eased. No other major problems were reported on the country’s roads yesterday. Some 900,000 cars left Athens in the runup to Easter, according to traffic police, and are expected to return gradually throughout the week. Officers said that so far 36 people had been killed in crashes this Easter, compared to 51 deaths in the same period last year. ATM HEIST Vehicle tows away cash machine An ATM machine was pulled out of a supermarket in Iraklion, Crete, on Sunday and towed away by a large four-wheel drive vehicle, police said. Parts of the Alpha Bank ATM, which contained an unknown amount of cash, were found down the street, indicating the escape route taken by the assailants, police added. It was the second such incident in Crete in the last few weeks. On March 31, thieves towed away another ATM machine from a bank and opened it by using explosives. Police believe that an organized gang is behind the thievery tactic which has been seen on different occasions on the island over the last few months. A manhunt has been launched for the culprits in the broader area. Cyprus diplomacy Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said yesterday that he refuses to base the island’s reunification talks on anything other than the UN-sponsored agreement achieved on July 8 last year. Turkish-Cypriot representatives are due to hold talks with UN officials in New York this week. Chios migrants The coast guard on Saturday intercepted 34 would-be immigrants on the Aegean island of Chios, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The illegal migrants neared the island on an 8-meter wooden boat and landed despite warnings from a Greek coast guard patrol to turn back. The boat later caught fire and sank. The migrants, who are without identification papers, were taken to the local hospital for health tests. (AFP) Tilos blockade Residents of Tilos in the Dodecanese said yesterday that they will continue to block the small island’s port for another week to demand a regular and fast ferry service to nearby Rhodes. Officials from the Southern Aegean Prefecture had been due to visit the island yesterday to present proposed measures to resolve the dispute but the meeting was postponed. The island’s mayor, Anastassis Aliferis, said that the coast guard boat that was going to be used by the officials to sail to Tilos had instead been used by Aegean and Island Policy Minister Aristotelis Pavlidis to visit the island of Symi. Tilos residents began their protest at the end of March because they are concerned that the island will be abandoned and that businesses that depends on tourism will be forced to close unless better sea connections are provided. Boy found A 12-year-old boy who suffers from mental problems went missing near Kilkis in northern Greece on Good Friday but was found safe and sound less than 24 hours later, authorities said. The boy had disappeared when he was cycling with his sister in the area of Mouries. Police officers and members of the EMAK rescue team were called in to search for the boy, who was found in a marshy area on Saturday morning. Truck stop A 40-year-old truck driver was arrested at the port of Igoumenitsa in northwestern Greece on Sunday night after five foreigners who did not have any identification papers were found hiding in his vehicle, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The truck was stopped and searched as it was about to board a ferry for Italy. The five would-be stowaways were also arrested. The ministry said the driver was a foreigner but did not give his nationality. Restaurant destroyed A fire destroyed a restaurant in Nea Philadelphia, northern Athens, on Saturday, authorities said. There were no reports of injuries. Authorities said that 30 firefighters using 20 vehicles were involved in the operation to put out the fire that reached two apartments above the restaurant. The apartments suffered minor damage. Authorities said they are investigating the cause of the blaze.