NEWS

In Brief

Turkish relations

Erdogan upbeat on bilateral ties after talks with Greek PM Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday described his recent talks in Ankara with Greek premier Costas Karamanlis as «extremely useful» for the improvement of bilateral relations. «We examined each problem one by one and discussed what we could do in each case,» Erdogan told a session of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). He and Karamanlis had agreed to «work on the problem areas,» he said, noting that the «era when we thrived on our problems…is over.» Weather woes Gale-force winds and snowfall disrupt travel and cause damage Snowfall and strong winds yesterday caused transport problems and some damage in many parts of the country. Several domestic flights were canceled as winds reached gale-force strength. Ships remained moored at Piraeus and most other ports. Sudden snowfall caused traffic problems in the capital’s northern suburbs and the north of the country. Strong winds in Thessaloniki damaged electricity pylons, causing blackouts for several hours. On Samos, winds demolished the wall of a school building, without causing any injuries. False alarm Missiles on truck were replicas Two air-to-air missiles discovered by Italian police in a truck that arrived at the port of Bari from Patras were harmless replicas that had been sent to Greece for use in military exercises, Greek defense officials said yesterday. When Italian authorities informed their Greek counterparts that the two missiles had been found on the truck, there were initially fears that the weapons had been smuggled out of a Greek air base. Checks on the Greek side confirmed that the missiles were replicas and had been sent over for use by F-4 Phantom jet fighters in exercises. Stowaway dies The decomposing body of a man was found yesterday on board a passenger ferry sailing from Venice to Igoumenitsa. The body was found by a crew member in one of the storerooms of the Ariadne. The ship serves the Patras-Igoumenitsa-Venice route and it is thought the deceased man was an illegal immigrant who had stowed away on board the ship. Quake An undersea quake, measuring 5 on the Richter scale, struck the area south of the island of Aegina, between Poros and Methana in the Saronic Gulf, just after 5.15 p.m. yesterday. There were no reports of injuries or damage caused by the quake, which was felt in the greater Athens area. Seismologists said there was probably no cause for concern. Drug death A 29-year-old man was found dead yesterday, with an empty syringe in his hand, in the basement of a block of flats in Kalamata. The man, who was not named, is believed to be from Nafplion. High-tech weed Police seized a sophisticated hydroponic plant growing system from a home in Larissa, central Greece, along with around 34 cannabis plants, authorities said yesterday. Two men and a woman were arrested in connection with the system that had been set up in the home’s basement and created ideal conditions for growing cannabis plants. Bank blast An improvised explosive device detonated in front of a branch of Postal Savings Bank in central Thessaloniki yesterday, causing minor damage. There were no reports of injuries. The explosion took place at around 4.10 a.m. and caused a blaze which firefighters managed to extinguish before it spread. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. Caught on camera Police took in four people for questioning in Thessaloniki yesterday after a traffic surveillance camera was destroyed in the city. Another camera had been vandalized on Monday and officers are examining whether the suspects are connected with the two attacks. Flare-up Two fans of PAOK soccer club were jailed for 10 days yesterday for attempting to fire flares into the Toumba Stadium in Thessaloniki before their team’s game against Panathinaikos on Sunday. The two men, aged 25 and 27, claimed they had been urged by other fans to shoot the flares into the ground.