NEWS

In Brief

SCHOOLGIRL DEATH

Suspect father faces magistrate, his testimony ‘shows discrepancies’ A father charged with murdering his 13-year-old daughter – who was found stabbed to death in their home in Pelasgia, near Lamia, at the end of last month – yesterday faced an investigating magistrate in the central town and continued to protest his innocence despite incriminating evidence. Christos Voulgarakis, 35, claims his daughter Vasso was murdered by unidentified assailants who also kidnapped him after breaking into his home to steal 60,000 euros he had won in a lottery and released him near the northern town of Preveza a few days later. But Voulgarakis was unable to explain the presence of his fingerprints on the kitchen knife used to kill his daughter. BANK STRIKE Reduced services as staff begin 48-hour strike Services at commercial banks will be severely disrupted today and tomorrow as bank employees begin a 48-hour strike called by the Bank Employees’ Federation (OTOE) following the failure of wage negotiations with bank management representatives. Unionists are also seeking a collective employment contract. The strike is expected to affect mostly National and Commercial banks, which are state-controlled. CYPRUS Annan ‘not bringing solution’ UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan will not be bringing a ready-made Cyprus solution with him next week but will attempt to give fresh momentum to foundering face-to-face talks between Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, Cypriot government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said yesterday. Yesterday’s talks focused on the latest proposals by Denktash and their reception by the Greek-Cypriot side, said Papapetrou. Annan is due to arrive on Tuesday for a three-day visit. Prince Charles Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, is on Mount Athos and is due to leave tomorrow following a three-day visit to the northern monastic community, the Athens News Agency reported. Convict’s trial A Thessaloniki court adjourned late yesterday, undecided about whether to suspend or continue the trial of a convicted robber who failed to return to Athens’s Korydallos prison on April 22 after a five-day furlough. Giorgos Angelopoulos was arrested early on Monday outside a Thessaloniki nightclub with his companion Aida Tzavella, a criminal lawyer from Athens. Tzavella – released pending trial on charges of harboring a fugitive and aiding and abetting his escape from prison – had asked for the judges presiding over Angelopoulos’s case to be removed, sources said, claiming that the court was biased in favor of the police. Bulgarian visit Bulgarian Premier Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha is due to arrive in Thessaloniki tomorrow ahead of a planned visit on Friday and Saturday to the Zografou monastery on Mount Athos – home to many Bulgarian monks. Minister for Macedonia and Thrace Giorgos Paschalides is due to meet the premier – on his first visit to the northern city – tomorrow night to continue ongoing bilateral negotiations. Passenger compensated A German woman injured in a road accident on the Aegean island of Paros 10 years ago after crashing with a car while riding on the back of a motorcycle will receive 1,789 euros in compensation – which a German court had ruled she was due – from the driver’s insurance company following a decision by the Supreme Court in Athens made public yesterday. The Supreme Court ruled the insurer was obliged to cover passengers in an accident, overturning an earlier decision by a Greek appeals court absolving the insurer of such an obligation. Heroin haul Just under 10 kilos of heroin confiscated from the car of two Albanian nationals on Monday is the biggest haul this year and had been destined for distribution across northern Greece, said Thessaloniki police, who stopped Buzar Spayiu and Izet Beta – both 30 – on the Thessaloniki-Kilkis national road after pursuing them for days. Church vandalized Police are seeking the unidentified vandals who targeted the Aghios Dimitrios church on Philopappou Hill under the Acropolis – tearing two flags, spattering an icon with mud and breaking off a piece of the Easter bier – after residents noticed the damage yesterday.