NEWS

In Brief

Illegal immigrants

Authorities detain 149 on Aegean islands of Lesvos and Symi Authorities have detained 149 illegal immigrants on the islands of Symi and Lesvos over the last two days, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. The coast guard detained 141 migrants on Symi on Wednesday. Coast guard officers tracked down the boat they arrived on and arrested three suspected traffickers, all Turkish nationals, on board. The migrants are believed to be from Somalia and Palestine. Coast guard officers also picked up eight migrants in a rubber dinghy off Lesvos yesterday. No further details were released. The Greek Coast Guard has detained more than 3,000 migrants and 91 suspected traffickers this year. Oinofyta water Mayor cautiously upbeat about authorities’ pledges to build pipeline The mayor of Oinofyta, a town north of Attica, yesterday expressed cautious optimism following pledges by the state water board and regional authorities to build a new pipeline that would provide residents with clean water. «I will only be satisfied when I see clean water running from our taps,» said Giorgos Theodoropoulos. Samples taken from the Asopos River, from which Oinofyta residents get their drinking water, have revealed high levels of depleted chromium, a carcinogenic substance. Municipal authorities have pledged to take legal action against those responsible for the pollution, believed to be local manufacturers. Thessaloniki shooting Albanian shot in leg outside club A 33-year-old man in Thessaloniki was shot in the leg outside a nightspot in the city’s port area early yesterday, according to police. The victim, an Albanian national, was recovering in hospital from the bullet wound which doctors said was not serious. Police said the incident is likely to be related to settling of personal scores between the victim and the gunman. Archbishop wishes Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis visited Archbishop Christodoulos yesterday to wish him well ahead of his trip to the USA for a liver transplant. The head of the Church of Greece is due to fly to Miami on Saturday for the operation. He spent 41 days in the hospital in Athens, where he was diagnosed with liver cancer. Greek-American doctor Andreas Tzakis will operate on the archbishop in the USA. «I’m sure that everything will go well,» said Bakoyannis. Koumantos dies A former law professor and regular contributor to Kathimerini, Georgios Koumantos, died yesterday at the age of 82. Koumantos had also served as an ad hoc judge at the European Court of Human Rights and vice president of the board of directors of Kathimerini. Bulgarian beggars A Bulgarian man will stand trial in Thessaloniki on suspicion that he forced four disabled countrymen to beg on the city’s streets, authorities decided yesterday. The unnamed suspect allegedly physically threatened the disabled men in order to make them beg for money on the streets of the city. Each of the four alleged victims earned between 60 and 100 euros per day for the suspect. In return, he paid for their hotel rooms and food. Child abuse A 55-year-old man was charged in Serres, northern Greece, yesterday with sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl. The alleged victim told police that the unnamed man would pay her two or three euros each time to allow him to molest her over the last few months. Fatal accidents Four people were killed in three separate car accidents near Ioannina, northern Greece, yesterday, according to police. A man and a woman, aged 36 and 54, were killed when their car crashed into an oncoming truck on the Preveza-Ioannina national highway while a 26-year-old motorcyclist was also fatally injured when he collided with a truck on the Ioannina-Athens highway. Separately, a 51-year-old man was killed when his car crashed into a tree near the area of Skorpiona. Lemons seized Piraeus Prefecture officials yesterday seized 74 tons of imported lemons from Argentina being stored at customs offices that were unfit for human consumption. Officials are expected to conduct further investigations.