NEWS

In Brief

FERRY STRUCK

Some 800 passengers evacuated safely after minor collision at Rafina More than 800 passengers aboard a ferry docked at the port of Rafina were evacuated safely yesterday afternoon after a small ship struck the vessel’s side. The passengers were forced to disembark from the Aqua Jewel ferry just a few minutes before it was due to sail for the Aegean islands of Andros, Tinos and Myconos. They were put onto another ferry to reach their destinations as repairs were carried out on the Aqua Jewel. Some 75 passengers aboard the Evia Star, which had been trying to drop anchor next to the Aqua Jewel when it struck the larger ship, were also safely evacuated. PROSTITUTION RING Four people arrested in Thessaloniki for procuring two foreign women Police said yesterday they had arrested two men and two women in Thessaloniki accused of forcing foreign women into prostitution. The two men, aged 45 and 48, and two women, aged 31 and 33, are believed to have enticed two women from abroad to Greece by promising them residency status and regular work. Once the paperwork had been taken care of, the women were allegedly beaten and forced to work as prostitutes without pay. Police have launched an investigation to determine whether more women had become victims of the group. CRETAN HAUL Tons of fish had high mercury levels Authorities on Crete yesterday confiscated some 23 tons of fish imported from China because they contained more than twice the permissible level of mercury. The fish were seized at the premises of an import company in Iraklion that was set to distribute the frozen produce to local fishmongers. Inspectors found that the levels of harmful mercury reached 2.35 mg/kilos, compared to a limit of 1 mg/kilo. Athens transport The Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA) issued a statement yesterday denying reports earlier in the week that claimed many buses in Athens are not covered by insurance. In its statement, OASA assured passengers that all the buses operating in the city are insured for accidents. «No vehicle can leave the depot without being insured. This is stipulated by the law, whose implementation is mandatory, and not at the discretion of each person,» OASA said. Phone interruption OTE telecom said yesterday that customers living in eastern Attica might experience problems with their telephone service between 9 p.m. tomorrow and 7 a.m. on Sunday because of work on the network. The areas likely to be affected include Daskalio, Keratea, Kalyvia, Markopoulo and Vravrona. Bad food An inspection team from the prefecture of Arcadia uncovered 600 kilos of frozen food that was unfit for consumption at a supermarket in Tripolis, central Peloponnese. The officials inspected the supermarket after receiving a complaint from a customer. Bakery robbed An armed man held up a bakery in Sikyes, Thessaloniki, and made off with 2,500 euros in cash, authorities said. Police have launched a manhunt for the robber. A Lidl supermarket in the Koufalia area of the city was also robbed yesterday. Two men threatened the staff with a gun and forced employees to hand over 1,100 euros, police said. The robbers escaped on foot. Attica aquarium Attica could soon get its own major aquarium, to match those on Rhodes and Crete, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas said yesterday when he visited the headquarters of the Hellenic Center for Marine Research (HCMR) at Anavyssos, east of Athens. It emerged last year that the ministry has given the green light for the construction of an aquarium at Palaio Faliron, in southern Athens. According to the plans, the aquarium park will cover 6,500 square meters. Sioufas did not say when the aquarium will be built. Roadworks warning Drivers should look out for roadworks on Poseidonos and Kifissos avenues from Monday, the Public Works Ministry said yesterday. Teams of workers will be carrying out improvements between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. in both directions on Kifissos Avenue near the Faliron junction. Roadworks will also take place during the same hours on the Poseidonos Avenue flyover, near the junction with Kifissos Avenue.