NEWS

In Brief

ARSON ATTACK

Finance Ministry building set on fire by group of assailants A group of about 20 people threw petrol bombs and rocks at a building that belongs to the Economy and Finance Ministry, near Syntagma Square in central Athens, late on Sunday. Nobody was injured in the attack but the building, which houses the General Secretariat for Investment and Development, suffered extensive damage. No arrests were made but police are linking the incident to a recent spate of arson attacks by self-styled anarchists carried out in support of alleged bank robber Yiannis Dimitrakis. KYRKOS HOSPITALIZED Veteran politician has heart attack but is in stable condition after operation Synaspismos Left Coalition founder Leonidas Kyrkos was admitted to the hospital on Sunday night after suffering a heart attack. Doctors said the 83-year-old was in stable condition yesterday after undergoing an operation on a blocked artery. A number of politicians, including Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos, visited Kyrkos at the Alexandra Hospital in central Athens. The leftist politician was said to be in good spirits and is expected to be discharged from intensive care soon. ARCHBISHOP GETS ALL CLEAR Tests reveal cancer has not spread Tests on Archbishop Christodoulos yesterday revealed that his liver cancer has not spread to other organs, which clears the way for the head of the Church of Greece to undergo a transplant in the USA as early as next month. Sources said that the archbishop’s improving condition could lead to him being discharged from the Aretaio Hospital in Athens by the end of the week. He is due to travel to Florida for the transplant operation some time after August 15. Poll lead New Democracy has a 4 percent lead over main opposition party PASOK, according to an opinion poll announced by SKAI TV last night. The poll also suggested that 49 percent of voters believe that the ruling conservatives will win the next general elections, which are due to take place by next March. The same percentage of respondents also said that they think current Premier Costas Karamanlis is the most suitable candidate for prime minister. Grave unearthed Roadworks in southern Greece have unearthed a rare Mycenaean grave thought to be well over 3,000 years old and containing important burial offerings, including a gold chalice, the Culture Ministry said yesterday. Archaeologists said it appeared to be the grave of a local military official and was the first time a single grave had been found with such a combination of objects – including a bronze and gold sword, and a bronze spear point, knife and pot. Pottery found in the grave dated it to around 1,200 BC. (Reuters) Armed raid Two armed men held up a branch of ATEbank in Serres, northern Greece, yesterday. It was not immediately known exactly how much they netted but police said it might have been as much as 450,000 euros. The two assailants, who were wearing motorcycle helmets, escaped from the scene on a high-powered stolen motorbike. After realizing they were being pursued by security staff, the two assailants fired shots into the air to scare off the guards. Body found Police in Arta, western Greece, are investigating the death of a 48-year-old man whose body was found by his brother yesterday in a farming area close to Athamanio, according to authorities. The man is believed to have illegally gone hunting as it is currently the no-hunting season. Police said the death may have been the result of an accident and the gun backfiring. The man’s hunting rifle was found next to his body. Authorities are currently performing an autopsy on the body. Prison drugs An inmate at the Stavrakio Prison in Ioannina, northwest Greece, has been caught hiding drugs in a mobile phone charger. Guards said yesterday that the unnamed prisoner had hidden almost 23 grams of heroin, divided into 51 tiny packets, in the charger. Meanwhile, a woman who was visiting an inmate at a prison in Arta, western Greece, was arrested after trying to pass him a fix of heroin and three ecstasy pills. Authorities did not name the woman.