NEWS

In Brief

BOND BUYBACK

Remaining two funds agree to start talks with JP Morgan The remaining two of the four pension funds that bought into an overpriced 280-million-euro state bond agreed yesterday to discuss reselling it to investment bank JP Morgan. The Newspaper Sellers’ Pension Fund (TSEYP) and the Civil Servants’ Auxiliary Pension Fund (TEADY) made their decisions a day after the other two funds, the Pharmaceutical Workers’ Auxiliary Pension Fund (TEAYFE) and the Social Insurance Workers’ Auxiliary Pension Fund (TEAPOKA), agreed to open talks with the bank. The funds said they will be asking JP Morgan to pay interest for the three months that they have held the bond. A parliamentary economic committee is due to hold another hearing on the affair today. SAMINA RETHINK Appeal prosecutors point to mechanical problems in sinking The Express Samina ferry, which sank off Paros in September 2000 with the loss of 82 lives, may have been caused by mechanical failure rather than poor navigation, the prosecutors in the appeal of five crew members suggested yesterday. The captain and first mate of the ship received jail sentences of 16 and 19 years respectively at the initial trial last year but their sentences could be reduced on appeal if the court finds they were not responsible for the ship hitting rocks. In their recommendation to the judges, the two prosecutors suggested the ship may have suffered a serious mechanical failure just before the accident. ROOF ELECTROCUTION Man dies working on father’s home A 35-year-old Thessaloniki man was electrocuted yesterday morning after trying to install a metal chimney stack on the roof of his father’s home, below a high-voltage electricity cable. A fire subsequently broke out on the roof of the two-story building, according to Public Power Corporation (PPC) inspectors who visited the site. PPC expressed its condolences to the family of the victim and promised to conduct an investigation into the causes of the accident. Strangling suspected A 36-year-old woman found dead at her home in Thessaloniki yesterday may have been the victim of murder, police said. The unnamed woman was found dead in her bathtub while her children were at school. Police said that she had suffered head injuries and that evidence indicates she may have been strangled to death. Police are investigating the possibility of the victim knowing the perpetrator. ATM raid Robbers removed a cash machine from the entrance of a Makro cash-and-carry store in Iraklion, Crete, early yesterday and stole the money it contained, police said. It was not immediately known how much cash was in the machine. The robbers raided the store at about 4 a.m. and, after smashing a window, they tied a rope around the Alpha Bank ATM and used a 4×4 vehicle to pull it free. The suspects then forced open the machine and drove off with the money. Builder death A 26-year-old builder from Romania was killed in the tourist resort of Faliraki on Rhodes yesterday when the wooden scaffolding on which he was standing gave way, police said. An 18-year-old Albanian laborer was also seriously injured in the incident. Neither of the men was named. It was not immediately clear what caused the wooden structure to collapse. The accident happened at a building site for a new hotel in the resort. Police arrested the owner of the building and the engineer responsible for the site. Kindergarten tragedy An appeals court yesterday upheld an 18-month suspended jail sentence handed to the owner of a kindergarten in Halandri, northeast Athens, where a baby died in an accident six years ago. A woman who worked at the nursery was also given the same sentence. Both defendants were found guilty of causing the child’s death through negligence. Rice confiscated Piraeus port officials confiscated 75 tons of rice found to contain traces of melamine, a chemical used to make fertilizers, that had been imported from China. None of the rice, which reached the Greek port on May 14, has been distributed on the market, officials said. The rice was brought into the country as animal feed.