5.3-magnitude tremor shakes town; no injuries or damage An earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale shook the town of Agrinion in western Greece at 2.50 p.m., prompting some residents to temporarily leave their homes but no injuries or damage were reported. Two smaller aftershocks followed at around 5 p.m. The epicenter of the quakes was on the edge of Lake Trichonida. The same area was struck by a series of similar-sized tremors just under two months ago, which caused damage to homes and schools. Seismologists said that yesterday’s earthquake might have been linked to this recent activity. Hospital blackout Surgery at cancer clinic canceled as power problems persist Surgery at the Metaxa Hospital in Piraeus, which specializes in treating cancer sufferers, was canceled as the building continued to be powered by generators yesterday after a power outage on Monday. The Health Ministry has ordered an investigation into the incident, which was caused by a fire at the hospital. The Public Power Corporation (PPC) issued a statement yesterday saying that the Metaxa had not suffered a power cut but that the fire service had asked PPC to cut off the power for safety reasons after a blaze in the hospital’s electrical network. The hospital was without power for some three hours, forcing surgery to be suspended. PPC said that it restored power to the building at 2.30 p.m. after receiving safety assurances from hospital officials. FYROM RETORT President rebuffs Greek PM remarks The president of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Branko Crvenkovski, yesterday rebuffed comments by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis regarding FYROM’s irredentism. «There is not one sign of our involvement in the internal affairs of Greece or other neighboring countries and so Mr Karamanlis’s comments are surprising,» said Crvenkovski. Begging ring Police in Ioannina, northwestern Greece, said yesterday that they have arrested four Gypsies from Bulgaria believed to be part of a ring that forced their disabled countrymen to come to Greece to earn money by begging. Officers said they started investigating the case after a paraplegic man complained that he had been forced to come to Greece against his will to earn money for the gang. After arresting three men and one woman, police said that they might expand their investigation into other cities. Court strike Court staff in Athens decided yesterday to hold a series of strikes and work stoppages over the next three months to demand the hiring of more staff. It was decided at a meeting of their union that court employees will not go to work on June 12 and 13 as well as September 17 and 18. They will also stage three-hour work stoppages between 9 a.m. and noon from June 11 to June 30. Lucky escape Five passengers on a minibus from Serbia suffered minor injuries yesterday after the driver lost control of the vehicle and slammed up against a truck outside Baldouma, near Ioannina, northern Greece. Police described the passengers as lucky, as the bus would have gone over a cliff had the truck not blocked its path. The Serbian nationals were headed for the western Greek port of Igoumenitsa where they were scheduled to catch a ferry to Italy. The injured passengers were taken to a hospital in Ioannina for treatment. Thessaloniki suspect Police arrested yesterday a 48-year-old man in Thessaloniki after finding in his posession more than 2 kilos of heroin, 380 grams of cocaine and 13,400 euros in cash, believed to have been earned from drug-related activities. Illegal antiquities A man from Athens has been arrested on suspicion of illegaly possessing ancient artifacts, police said yesterday. A raid on the man’s home revealed a number of items from the Hellenistic and Classical eras, according to officers.