NEWS

In Brief

ESPHIGMENOU MONASTERY

Officially recognized monks claim foundation stone smashed overnight A foundation stone laid last October by Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios at a building on Mount Athos, northern Greece, where the officially recognized Esphigmenou monks are based, was smashed on Friday night, according to statement released by the monks on Saturday. The Esphigmenou Monastery has been the focus of a long-running dispute between the Orthodox Church and the rebel monks at the monastery who strongly oppose efforts to mend a schism between the Orthodox Church and the Vatican. Local police are investigating Friday night’s incident. HUMAN TRAFFICKERS Eight alleged smugglers arrested A Bulgarian man was arrested in northeastern Greece yesterday on suspicion of trying to smuggle four illegal immigrants into Greece in his car. All five were arrested at a border crossing in Evros. In a separate incident, seven suspected people smugglers, two Greeks, an Albanian and four Turks, were arrested trying to help 69 illegal immigrants cross into Greece from Turkey, authorities said on Saturday. The group had crossed into the country via the Evros River. Megalopolis fire Firefighters were last night attempting douse a fire that broke out near Megalopolis in the Peloponnese. Three water-dropping airplanes and a helicopter were being used in the effort. It was not immediately clear what caused the fire to start. Gas man A 33-year-old man has been arrested in Thessaloniki for running an illegal natural gas bottling facility in the city. The suspect allegedly filled gas cylinders and placed labels of a well-known gas company on them so he could sell them on the market. Hit-and-run A 21-year-old man was arrested in Thessaloniki yesterday for allegedly leaving the scene of a car crash in which he was involved. Two people were injured in the accident that occurred shortly before 3.15 a.m. Police did not give further details.