NEWS

In Brief

BOND CONFIDENTIALITY

JP Morgan asks pension funds to keep quiet about return deal Investment bank JP Morgan has asked the four pension funds which bought a Greek government bond that it traded earlier this year to sign a 10-year confidentiality clause as part of an agreement for the US-based institution to return their money, the head of one of the funds told MPs yesterday. Professor Andreas Kintis, the new president of the Civil Servants’ fund TEADY said that the clause had been inserted as part of the deal for JP Morgan to return the 280 million euros that the four funds invested in the bond. Kintis said that after seeking legal advice, the TEADY board agreed not to make public any details of the agreement with the bank. JP Morgan agreed to return the money after it emerged that the funds had paid over the going rate for the government paper. CANNABIS ARRESTS Two men caught in Thessaloniki with around 85 kilos of hash Police in Thessaloniki said yesterday that they had arrested two 27-year-old men after seizing some 85 kilos of cannabis during raids on three properties in the city. Both suspects are Albanian nationals and have outstanding warrants against them. The drug had been divided into 90 bundles, said police, who also seized scales and 400 euros. TRAIN DELAYS Proastiakos suffers in the heat The heat wave this week has caused some delays in the schedule of Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) as the heat has affected train wheels and the electronic monitoring system. No further details were given. The company also said there will changes to the Proastiakos suburban railway train schedule until September 10 due to maintenance work being done on the network. Grenade blast A hand grenade exploded early yesterday at a dry-cleaning store in Ano Liosia, western Athens, causing minor damage to the store. There were no reports of injuries. The attack, which took place at 3.15 a.m., also damaged a parked car near the dry-cleaning store which is not currently operating. Archbishop better Archbishop Christodoulos, who last month had a tumor removed from his intestine and has been diagnosed with liver cancer, is showing signs of better health, Greek-American surgeon Andreas Tzakis said yesterday. The archbishop, who is to undergo a liver transplant in the USA next month, «is in a much better condition,» said Tzakis after visiting Christodoulos at his home in Psychico. PASOK explosion An improvised explosive device went off outside the branch offices of PASOK in Kaisariani, eastern Athens, yesterday causing minor damage, police said. The explosive device, consisting of three gas canisters, went off at 1.30 a.m. and caused damage to the front of the offices. Contraband smokes A 43-year-old Greek man has been arrested in Aspropyrgos, west of Athens, in connection with the smuggling of cigarettes into Germany, police said yesterday. The suspect, who was not named, was arrested after a warrant was issued by authorities in Germany who claim that he was part of a gang that smuggled more than 20 million packs of cigarettes into the country. The contraband was worth 3.52 million euros to the German government in unpaid taxes. Lake warning The Thessaloniki Prefecture reminded people yesterday not to draw water from Lake Koroneia near the city, as low water levels could lead to a similar crisis to the one in 2004, when some 30,000 birds died at the lake. Following a lack of rainfall, authorities said in May that the water level had plunged to a record low, causing a build-up of harmful bacteria that was threatening local wildlife. Protection measures have been in place since, meaning that fishing has been banned. Animals are not allowed to graze near the lake and farmers have been told not to use its water for irrigation. The Prefecture reminded residents to contact authorities if they find any dead or sick birds around the lake. Illegal immigrants Police detained 26 illegal immigrants at Kotili, near Xanthi in north eastern Greece, found hidden in two vehicles during traffic checks, authorities said. A 50-year-old Greek man has been arrested on charges of human trafficking.