NEWS

In Brief

FATAL ACCIDENT

Three-member family killed in crash on Athens-Lamia national road A family of three was killed in a road accident on the Athens-Lamia national road early yesterday, police said. The car in which they were traveling smashed into the back of a car that had stopped in the emergency lane near Malakasa, north of Athens. Traffic police said that the stationary car had its warning lights on and the occupants were standing at the side of the road waiting for a recovery truck. Officers did not name any of the dead but said the man was aged 42, his wife 39 and their son was 5 years old. The family was from Nea Smyrni in southern Athens. ATM THEFT EPIDEMIC Another machine stolen on Crete in sixth raid of its type this year A National Bank ATM was stolen in Rethymnon, Crete, yesterday when robbers hoisted the machine onto the back of a truck using stolen lifting equipment, police said. It was the sixth ATM robbery in Crete this year in which thieves took the whole machine with them. Authorities said they were investigating a shooting in another part of Rethymnon when the heist took place in an incident that may be related to the bank theft. Police said the shooting may have been staged as a means of distracting police in order to give the thieves more time to complete the heist. OPINION POLLS Survey sample will have to be larger The Cabinet approved yesterday a draft law that will require polling companies to question at least 1,000 people if they are conducting a survey on political issues or voting intentions. The new legislation will keep current rules that prevent pollsters from publishing survey results during the last two weeks before national elections and which prohibit the publication of exit polls before voting has finished. Evening quake A 5.4 Richter quake was felt in the cities of Grevena and Kozani in northern Greece at 9.23 p.m. yesterday. No damage was reported but thousands of residents fled their homes in fear after the tremor. The Athens Geodynamic Institute said the epicenter of the quake was 18 kilometers southwest of Grevena. In 1995 a 6.6 Richter quake destroyed thousands of homes in Grevena. Byzantine plates Greece has no immediate plans to hand over a collection of Byzantine silver crockery claimed by Bulgaria because of a lack of proof that the objects have been smuggled, a Greek museum official said yesterday. If Bulgaria «presents us with evidence showing that these works have been stolen in recent decades, obviously we will hand them over, but for the moment that is not the case,» Angelos Delivorias, director of the Benaki Museum in the capital Athens where some of the items are displayed, told AFP. Bulgaria last week announced it had asked for the return of nine solid silver, gold-encrusted plates acquired by Athens in 2003 and on display in three Greek museums. (AFP) Illegal artifacts A 54-year-old store owner in Tripolis has been arrested following the discovery of 86 ancient artifacts, believed to have been illegally acquired, at his store in the Peloponnesian town, police said. The artifacts, chiefly marble and stone, are believed to date to the Classical and Byzantine periods. They include parts of pillars, various vessels and a marble sarcophagus. The 54-year-old, who was not named, reportedly claimed to have acquired all the items legally but without providing authorities with the required documents. Counterfeit medicine The National Pharmaceutical Organization (EOF) yesterday warned against the use of an anabolic steroid, the substance Nandrolone Decanoate, as a batch of the drug circulating on the Greek market is believed to be counterfeit. EOF said it could not vouch for the production and inspection of the particular batch of the drug, popular among bodybuilders. The organization stressed that the use of the drug is illegal, unless prescribed by a doctor. Body found A 43-year-old man was found dead in his apartment in Kalamata, the Peloponnese, yesterday. Police did not reveal the identity of the man but said that they found almost half a kilo of cocaine in the apartment. They were awaiting the results of an autopsy to determine the cause of death.