NEWS

In Brief

Moscow visit

PM to meet with Vladimir Putin to discuss energy cooperation Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis arrived in Moscow yesterday afternoon and is due to meet with President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin today to talk mainly about cooperation between the two countries in the energy sector. The two leaders will also touch on other international issues, such as the future status of Kosovo, whose independence Russia and Greece oppose. It will be the sixth meeting between Karamanlis and Putin in less than four years. (Page 2) Gangland killing Man, 23, shot several times in underworld execution in Kolonos A 23-year-old man was shot dead in a street in Kolonos, near central Athens, late on Sunday, police said yesterday. According to witnesses, a man wearing a raincoat walked up to the victim at about 9.30 p.m. and shot him twice with a handgun before pulling out two automatic weapons and riddling the 23-year-old’s body with bullets. The victim, an Albanian national who was not named, died instantly. The assailant fled the scene on foot. Police believe that the killing was an underworld hit but were not sure yesterday whether it was related to drugs or human trafficking. SYRIZA leadership Tsipras due to declare candidacy Alexis Tsipras is set to officially put himself forward today as a candidate for the leadership of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), according to sources. The 33-year-old appears to have the backing of the left-wing of the party as well as the coalition’s younger supporters. The civil engineer stood as the party’s candidate for Athens mayor last year. MP Fotis Kouvelis is the only official candidate so far. Current leader Alekos Alavanos has decided not to seek re-election at next month’s conference for personal reasons. Refugee support Athens municipal authorities yesterday forged an agreement with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide social services and support to refugees and asylum seekers living in the broader municipality with the aim of their social integration. The service will offer employment and housing information and counseling support to refugees as well as special support for those with basic needs for food and clothing. Corruption trial The trial of a Competition Commission official, accused of colluding to receive a 2.5-million-euro bribe from the MEVGAL dairy firm so the watchdog would not fine the company, is due to start today. The case was meant to be heard yesterday but the court in Athens ran out of time. The three men were arrested last September following allegations that they asked for the bribe. Judge training Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis yesterday heralded a new draft law that foresees more thorough training for would-be judges. If the bill is passed, candidates will face more examinations and curricula will have a greater emphasis on practical knowledge. The bill also foresees international educational exchanges where judges would receive extra training abroad. Pensioner murder Police said yesterday that they know the identity of the man who killed a 75-year-old man in Paeania, northeast of Athens, earlier this year. Officers said the suspect is a 21-year-old Albanian man who has fled the country. The pensioner, Manolis Koxarakis, was found dead in his home in June. The 21-year-old allegedly gagged and bound Koxarakis while he burgled the property. US Embassy The United States Embassy’s consular section in Athens will be open for visa, passport, citizen services and federal benefits functions on December 24 (from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.) while the rest of the embassy will be closed for business. You can find more information by logging on to http://athens.usembassy.gov.