NEWS

In Brief

Archbishop stable

Christodoulos aides say his condition improved slightly in recent days Archbishop Christodoulos continues to be in a stable condition and has been feeling better over the last few days, his aides said yesterday. The head of the Church of Greece is suffering from liver and stomach cancer but the results of blood tests conducted on Tuesday were said to be satisfactory. He is being treated at his home in Palaio Psychico and was visited by Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos yesterday. SOLDIER DEATHS PPC workers cleared of negligence in accident that left five dead Four Public Power Corporation (PPC) employees were cleared of negligence yesterday in connection with the death of five soldiers at an army camp in Evros, northeastern Greece, in 2004. Two soldiers were also injured in the incident when a flagpole they were raising came into contact with overhead power cables. The four accused were responsible for maintaining the network at the camp. The decision of the court in Alexandroupolis to find the PPC employees innocent was met with derision from the victims’ relatives who said they would appeal. ARSONISTS WANTED Attacks in Athens and Thessaloniki Police in Athens and Thessaloniki were yesterday looking for arsonists who set fire to a total of four kiosks and seven vehicles in the early hours. Six cars were burned in Pangrati and Ilisia, eastern Athens, at about 1 a.m. There was no clear link between the attacks. Meanwhile, arsonists set fire to four kiosks in the city center and then damaged a municipal car. Nobody was injured and by last night no arrests had been made. Robber foiled Customers at a bank in the Peloponnesian village of Zevgolati yesterday disarmed a would-be robber and handed him over to police after realizing that the gun he was brandishing was a fake. The Roma man had attempted to hold up the Postal Savings Bank but ended up being taken to the hospital under police custody so he could receive treatment for a black eye he suffered when the irate customers wrestled him to the ground. Real vs fake trees Are artificial Christmas trees more environmentally friendly than real firs? A Corfu man has asked municipal officials to remove the tree they have erected in front of his cafe, which serves organic food and drink. Others claim real trees bearing the approved seals do in fact benefit the environment, as they are grown on tree farms, creating a source of income for mountain villages. (Page 3) Road attack Cyprus’s Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a 15-year jail sentence for 39-year-old Briton Julian Harrington, who was found guilty of killing a local motorcyclist and injuring another man in a road incident in the beach resort of Protaras last year. The court did not find the sentence to be «excessive» as Harrington had argued. He was found guilty of the manslaughter of Christos Papiris, 17, and causing grievous bodily harm to Marios Demetriou, also 17, when he rammed their motorcycle with his rental car. Cannabis arrests Police arrested three men on the island of Rhodes who were found in possession of more than 17 kilos of cannabis, authorities said yesterday. The unidentified suspects are believed to have earlier sold 7 kilos of cannabis, police added. Authorities have launched a manhunt for three more men, Albanian nationals, believed to have been the suppliers of the cannabis. The suspects are expected to face charges of drug trafficking and forming a criminal gang. Food fines Hania prefecture officials said yesterday they had confiscated 29 tons of meat and fish considered to be unfit for consumption during checks carried out between January and October. Just over 500 checks were conducted during the 10-month period on restaurants, ferries and hospitals, the officials added. Youths detained Four Roma youths, three of whom are under the age of 18, were arrested in Athens in connection with purse snatching, breaking into homes and stores and car theft, police said yesterday. The youths are believed to have stolen a total of 12,500 euros in the offenses that took place mostly in the western suburbs.