NEWS

In Brief

School vandals

Complex occupied by protesting students wrecked by ‘outsiders’ A complex of six schools in Pangrati, eastern Athens, under occupation by students calling for changes in the education sector, has been vandalized, officials said yesterday. The vandals are not believed to be students, according to police who have arrested two youths, aged 19 and 20, in connection with the incident. Teachers, who spoke of broken doors and windows, smashed computers and discarded syringes, estimated the value of the damage at 150,000 euros. Teachers have appealed to a prosecutor to authorize police intervention. Mideast summit FM Bakoyannis to attend peace talks in US next week, ministry says Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis will travel to the USA to attend a Middle East peace conference next week, ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos said yesterday. The invitation to the summit – being held in Annapolis, Maryland, and Washington on Monday through Wednesday – «constitutes a recognition of Greece’s active role in the Middle East all these years,» Koumoutsakos said. It is the first time Greece has been invited to an international peace summit for the region. Bakoyannis is expected to use the opportunity to discuss the Macedonian name issue with visiting diplomats ahead of scheduled talks on the matter next month. Cretan resort Campaigners protest hotel, golf plans Campaigners in Crete revealed yesterday that they have written to the government asking it to withdraw approval for British company Loyalward Limited to build a vast hotel and golf resort at Cavo Sidero. The Pan-Cretan Network of Environmental Organizations (EcoCrete) said that it has written to 11 ministries. The group claims that the project, which includes at least three golf courses, would have a damaging effect on the environment of the area in Lasithi, eastern Crete, particularly in terms of its demand on water resources. EcoCrete also said it doubts the validity of the contract that has allowed Loyalward to lease some 2,600 hectares of land for 80 years. High-flying thief An airplane passenger alleged to have stolen from flight attendants aboard an Olympic Airlines flight from Kavala to Athens faced a prosecutor yesterday. The passenger, who was not identified, is alleged to have taken a purse from one flight attendant’s bag and a pair of glasses from the bag of another staff member during the flight. Someone spotted the alleged thefts and the suspect was arrested on arrival at Athens airport. Drug hauls Police in Athens confiscated over 5 kilos of cannabis following searches of three Greek men, aged 25, 30 and 32, believed to be members of a large drug ring supplying the capital. Officers also seized 5,260 euros, believed to be the proceeds of drug deals, and two sets of scales. Police in Thessaloniki also arrested three Greeks, aged 21, 22 and 25, as well as a 19-year-old foreigner, after finding over 25 kg of «skunk-type» cannabis following a search of an international removals truck. Hygiene fines Athens Prefect Yiannis Sgouros asked the Development Ministry yesterday for the right to hand health and hygiene offenders on-the-spot fines rather than take legal action against them. Sgouros said that such a system would make offenders «realize that they cannot take advantage of their fellow citizens.» Meanwhile, the Piraeus Prefecture said yesterday that it had seized 13.4 tons of cheese and meat that was not fit for consumption. Ball of fire A truck carrying fuel caught fire yesterday on the Patras-Corinth national road and was totally destroyed but nobody was injured, authorities said. The driver managed to pull over and call the fire service. Traffic on the national road was halted for safety reasons. The truck exploded as the fuel it was carrying caught fire and it took firefighters almost two hours to put out the blaze. Bank robberies Armed robbers held up two branches of National Bank yesterday, one in Athens and the other in Kavala. The gunmen who raided the Athens bank fled with just over 9,000 euros while those who in Kavala netted 10,000 euros. In both cases, the gunmen fled on motorcycles. There were no injuries.