NEWS

In Brief

UEFA Cup

Historic night for Greek soccer as all five sides advance to group stage Greece was yesterday celebrating being the only country to have five teams in the group stage of soccer’s UEFA Cup. Despite the fact that all four teams in action on Thursday night – Aris, Larissa, Panionios and AEK – lost their games, they all went through on aggregate scores. Panathinaikos had already qualified on Tuesday night. Aris and Larissa, in particular, put on impressive performances to put out much stronger opposition in the form of Real Zaragoza of Spain and Blackburn Rovers of England. Spain and England will only have three teams in the next round of the UEFA Cup. Germany will have four. The draw is due to take place on Tuesday. BRIBERY CASE Forest ranger from eastern Attica will not stand trial due to poor health The head of the forest ranger’s office in Markopoulo, eastern Attica, will not stand trial on bribery charges because he suffers from health problems. The unnamed man was arrested more than a week ago after allegedly accepting a bribe of 5,000 euros from a local resident as payment to secure a favorable verdict in a property dispute. The suspect allegedly accepted the fee from a woman whose husband had been charged with exploiting forestland near the couple’s home in Porto Rafti, east of Athens. Details of the official’s health problems were not made known. YOGURT WITHDRAWN Two sell-by dates on Actimel Multifruit Packs of four small bottles of Actimel Multifruit yogurt drink are being withdrawn from stores, the Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) said yesterday after it discovered that two different expiry dates had been marked on some of the products. The watchdog said that inspectors in Iraklion, Crete, had found that the cardboard packaging displayed an expiry date of October 30, whereas the bottles had that of September 30. EFET advised people who have purchased the product to check the expiry date on the bottle. City survey Greece ranked in position No 20 on an international Reader’s Digest survey assessing 141 nations based on the best place to live. Finland took first place, followed by Iceland and Norway. An assessment of the best city to live in ranked Athens in position No 63 out of a total of 72 cities. Stockholm scored as the best city to live in, with Oslo and Munich in second and third positions respectively. The study was conducted by US environmental economist Mathew Kahn, who looked at issues such as quality of drinking water and greenhouse gas emissions as well as factors including education and income. Bank robber Police have asked for permission to check the mobile phone records of the 22-year-old man arrested this week after an armed robbery on a bank in central Athens. Officers are hoping that the records could lead them to his alleged accomplice. Objects such as gloves, hoods and other clothing found in a bag he was carrying are also being examined. Initial tests conducted on the two handguns found in his possession indicated that the weapons have not been fired before. Pilot strike A wildcat strike by pilots of state-owned Cyprus Airways yesterday left around 2,000 passengers either stranded or scrambling to catch other flights. The six-hour strike hit travelers to destinations including London, Frankfurt, Athens and Bucharest from 2 p.m. Airline officials said arrangements were being made to find alternative flights for stranded passengers. Pilots’ union spokesman George Charalambous said its 120 members were protesting a colleague’s suspension, and accused the Cyprus Airways management of «continuous flouting of the labor code and the airline’s own rules.» (AFP) Couple clashes Evi Vatidou, who is married to high-profile lawyer Alexis Kougias, yesterday filed a complaint with police against her husband, alleging that he attacked her on Thursday night in front of the couple’s two children. Kougias lodged a complaint of his own but it was not immediately clear for what reason. After filing the complaint, Vatidou returned home but her husband allegedly did not let her back in the house so she returned to the police station in Vouliagmeni, southern Athens, to file a second complaint.