In Brief


OECD secretary-general urges Greece to reform social security, education Writing in today’s Kathimerini, the secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Angel Gurria, said that Greece has achieved a strong growth rate over the last decade but needs to proceed with reforms in a number of areas, including public administration and social security. Gurria also urged changes to Greece’s education system, particularly tertiary education. FLOURISHING RELATIONS Chinese ambassador says Greece and China are forging closer bonds Chinese Ambassador to Greece Tian Xuejun has told Kathimerini that there is «great cooperative potential» in the relationship between Greece and China, which marks 35 years of diplomatic relations today. He also said that China’s economic development is «peaceful, open, cooperative and harmonious» and that other countries should not fear it. The ambassador insisted that Beijing will host a «Green» Olympics in 2008 and that is has benefited from experience passed on by Greek officials. ROAD RULES New traffic code leads to 722 tickets Traffic police said yesterday that they issued 722 tickets on Sunday, which was the first day that a new and stricter set of traffic rules went into effect. The most common offense (99 tickets) was illegal parking, closely followed by motorcyclists not wearing crash helmets (96 tickets). Officers said that 655 of the drivers penalized were issued with fines while the remaining 67 will face prosecution. Police removed license plates from 36 cars and seized the driving licenses of 83 drivers. Newspaper attack A group of 15 self-styled anarchists attacked the offices of media group Lambrakis Press in central Athens yesterday, smashing windows at its entrance and damaging cars parked nearby but no one was hurt, police said. The attack took place at around 3.10 p.m. and damaged about 15 cars parked outside the building, authorities added. Police said the youths claimed their attack was in response to a report published in one of the group’s newspapers, To Vima, which blamed leftist fringe groups for several robberies in southeastern Athens. Actor death Veteran comic actor Sotiris Moustakas died early yesterday at the age of 67. Moustakas, who is to be buried at the Halandri cemetery tomorrow, collapsed during rehearsals for a performance in Athens. The exact cause of death was unclear. Moustakas was «one of the most significant comic actors to have emerged from Greece and Cyprus,» said Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. The Limassol-born actor, whose career spanned more than 40 years and included 76 appearances in films and stage plays, was «always modest, supportive of young actors,» said Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis. Bush visit Former US President George Bush arrived in Greece yesterday for a sailing holiday as a guest of shipping tycoon Spiro Latsis. Bush’s weeklong stay is scheduled to include a tour around the northern Aegean islands of Thasos, Lemnos and Samos as well as the Sporadic Islands. The former president is also due to visit the monastic community at Mount Athos. Clandestine betting A central Athens cafe owner and one of his customers were arrested yesterday after police found that he had set up a computer on his premises to allow customers to place bets with an English bookmaker via the Internet. A state-controlled betting company has a legal monopoly in Greece and it is illegal to gamble with foreign firms. Officers said they seized betting slips suggesting that a number of customers at the cafe had used the computer to place bets. Armed robberies Three armed robberies were reported in Attica yesterday. The first took place on the Vari-Koropi road shortly before 10 a.m. when two men on a motorcycle blocked the path of a security firm official carrying a bag of cash. One assailant fired a gun, damaging the employee’s scooter but not inflicting injury, before grabbing the bag which contained 140,000 euros. Later yesterday two men broke into a private home in Kifissia and stole a safe containing 11,000 euros. The third raid was on the offices of a printing firm in Alimos from which two robbers took 20,000 euros.

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