NEWS

In Brief

SEVEN KILLED

Heavy toll in two separate car accidents in northern Greece Seven people were killed in two separate car accidents in Kilkis and Kavala, northern Greece, yesterday, according to police. In Kilkis, a car transporting five people to work slammed head-on into another vehicle and burst into flames. The victims were aged 24 to 53 and included one woman. The driver of the second vehicle, aged 38, was hospitalized in critical condition. In the second accident, two people lost their lives in a three-car pileup when one of the cars attempted to overtake a truck. No further details were immediately available. IMMIGRANTS SAVED Coast guard rescues 27 people off Samos in rough conditions at sea The coast guard rescued 27 illegal immigrants off the eastern Aegean island of Samos yesterday after the wooden boat in which they were traveling in sank in rough seas. A coast guard rescue operation, including a Super Puma helicopter, was launched at about 5.30 a.m. when authorities where informed of the sinking boat. All of the Afghan immigrants survived with some of the them requiring treatment for hypothermia. It was the second boat to sink off Samos this week transporting illegal immigrants. Thursday’s accident resulted in the death of a 27-year-old woman from Sri Lanka. ACHELOOS GO-AHEAD Court rules in favor of project The Council of State has thrown out an appeal from organizations opposed to the diversion of the Acheloos River, sources said yesterday. Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias is determined to proceed with the huge engineering project to divert the Acheloos River in western Greece to the heavily farmed plain of Thessaly but has met with opposition from local groups. But Greece’s highest administrative court has ruled that the work cannot be suspended. Groups in western Greece fear the diversion will damage the ecosystem of Aitoloacarnania but farmers in Thessaly say they need the water. Gaza evacuation Four people holding Greek passports have been safely evacuated from the Gaza Strip, Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos said yesterday. Koumoutsakos said the four people had asked for help to leave the area. He did not give further details but said that Greece thanked Israeli and Jordanian authorities for their aid in the operation. Decision defended The rector of the University of Crete, Ioannis Pallikaris, defended yesterday the university’s recent decision to allow police access to the campus in August on the grounds that it will protect taxpayers’ property. A rectors council agreed on Wednesday to lift the «university asylum law» after a string of robberies and incidents involving drugs took place on campus. «The asylum for the University of Crete is not a cover for the drug trade and other illegal actions, such as theft and the destruction of the university’s property which belongs to the taxpayer,» he said. Kifissos return Skai Radio and TV said yesterday that they are intending to team up again with the Karcher cleaning company to clean up rubbish from the beach at the mouth of the Kifissos River in southern Athens. The two organizations, with the help of volunteers, conducted a similar cleanup some two months ago on Moschato beach but residents have complained of rubbish being dumped in the area again. Poseidonos roadwork The Public Works and Environment Ministry warned drivers yesterday that roadwork will begin tomorrow on the Poseidonos Avenue flyover, near the junction with Kifissos Avenue. The roadwork will be in lanes headed toward Piraeus and will be completed by August 15, according to the ministry. Heroin arrest Police arrested a 32-year-old man in Thessaloniki yesterday for possessing 1.1 kilos of heroin. Police found the narcotics in the man’s vehicle at a traffic checkpoint on the national highway linking Thessaloniki with Kavala. Armed robbery An armed man held up a branch of Eurobank in Kalamaria, Thessaloniki, yesterday and made away with an unknown amount of cash, police said. The hold up took place at 1.40 p.m. and the assailant escaped the scene on foot, police added.