NEWS

In Brief

Landfill go-ahead

Court approves creation of new dump in Keratea despite protests The Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, gave the go-ahead yesterday for a new landfill to be built in Keratea, eastern Attica. The court ruled against an appeal from residents and local authorities calling for the work to be halted as the site was located in a forested area. The court upheld the decision to build the landfill on the grounds that it is in line with the Constitution and does not breach any laws. The judges found that zoning laws can be overlooked if the project concerns public health and quality of life. The Council of State has now given the green light for all of the three new dumps the govenment wants to build. The other two are in Fyli, western Athens, and Grammatiko, northeast of the city. PASOK VOTE Skandalidis calls on leadership rivals to stop attacking each other PASOK leadership candidate Costas Skandalidis yesterday called on his opponents and other party members to «sheath their swords» after a number of public disagreements between George Papandreou and Evangelos Venizelos, as well as their supporters. Skandalidis said he was afraid that PASOK would take a step backward as a result of the leadership race. «Personal attacks, blaming people, conspiracy theories and threats have the worst possible effect on the unity and prospects of the party,» said the Athens MP. Fuel cheats Five traders fined 148,000 euros Piraeus prefecture imposed yesterday fines of 148,000 euros on five different fuel distribution businesses for selling diluted diesel. The names of the businesses were not released by the prefecture. Sources said dilution levels ranged from 3 percent to 100 percent and that diesel amounts had been mixed in with bunker and heating oil in a bid to save on taxes. Exarchia rampage A gang of youths went on a rampage in Exarchia, central Athens, torching a parked car and setting fire to a traffic camera. Police said four fire bombs were thrown in the attack which took place in the early morning hours yesterday. There were no reports of injuries. Street violence A Senegalese street trader yesterday suffered minor injuries following a clash with a Thessaloniki policeman in the city center. The two men clashed after the foreigner refused to submit to an inspection sought by the officer and an argument ensued, police in the northern city said. The trader had not pressed charges against the officer by late yesterday. Missing boy British police yesterday released an updated digital picture of Ben Needham, the boy who went missing on the Aegean island of Kos 16 years ago. The boy was just under 2 years old when he disappeared while playing outside a farmhouse that his parents had been renovating in July 1991. His family believes he may have been stolen by child traffickers. Embezzler convicted A Thessaloniki court yesterday passed down an eight-year jail sentence on a Postal Savings Bank employee found guilty of embezzling nearly 955,000 euros in customers’ cash between 2000 and 2001. The man, who was not identified, was found to have falsified clients’ personal details and invested some of their money on the Athens Exchange. He also gambled some customers’ cash, the court found. Palaiocostas A Larissa court yesterday passed down a nine-year jail sentence on bank robber Nikos Palaiocostas – one of a series of sentences the former fugitive has collected in the past weeks from courts across the country. Yesterday’s verdict was for Palaiocostas’s participation in a Karditsa bank robbery in 2002. He is to appear in Larissa courtrooms another four times this year for hearings connected to other raids. Last week alone Palaiocostas received a life sentence and a 62-year jail term. Billboard probe A Thessaloniki magistrate yesterday ordered an investigation into the illegal placement of huge promotional billboards and posters on major roads and other public areas. The probe follows complaints that the billboards pose a risky distraction to motorists and are aesthetically displeasing.