NEWS

In Brief

ATTICA CRASHES

Six in 10 car accidents happen in Athens, figures for 2007 show The majority of fatal car accidents, which killed 2,000 people last year, occurred in Attica and not on Greece’s national roads, the traffic police said yesterday. Six in 10 fatal crashes occurred in and around Athens, according to figures made public yesterday. There were 766 deadly accidents in Attica out of almost 1,300 nationwide. There were another 1,462 accidents that left people with serious injuries. Greece has one of the worst records in the European Union for road safety. ARSONISTS Insurance firm in capital attacked; 20-year-old caught at pension rally A group of about 10 people set fire to a branch of the Interamerican insurance company in the southern Athens suburb of Alimos yesterday. The gang smashed windows and threw Molotov cocktails into the office building. Nobody was hurt but the fire caused substantial damage. Police are looking for the suspects. Meanwhile, a group of men threw firebombs at a police car during the pension protest in Athens on Wednesday. Nobody was injured but a 20-year-old man was arrested shortly afterward. Police said that he was carrying three Molotov cocktails and five plastic bottles of fuel. He is a second-year university student and is due to appear before a prosecutor today. If convicted, he will be the first arsonist to be caught red-handed for a number of years. GREEN TERRACES Pros and cons of rooftop gardens Should Athenians be creating gardens on their rooftops to help reduce heat in the summer and improve the city’s environment? Opinions are divided, as Kathimerini English Edition found out. (Page 3) Pupil stabbed A 20-year-old man who allegedly stabbed a 14-year-old schoolboy in the throat on Rhodes has been charged with attempted manslaughter, police on the island said yesterday. The boy, who was seriously injured, had been on his way to a private lesson when he was attacked in the street, police said. The 20-year-old defended himself before a local magistrate yesterday. It was unclear whether there had been any motive behind the attack. Lights out The lights will be turned off on Lycabettus Hill and Athens City Hall for 10 minutes from 7 p.m. today in a European initiative aimed at encouraging citizens to conserve energy. Several other European cities are also participating in the initiative, with the lights due to go out at the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and Pantheon in Rome, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Foreign Office building in London and Edinburgh Castle. Permit scam A public official on Crete is suspected of accepting payments to falsify migrants’ records so that they could obtain residence permits, police said yesterday. The suspect works in the municipality of Mythimni near Hania. Officers said they are also looking for three more men, a Greek and two foreigners, in connection with the alleged scam. It is not known yet how many migrants on the island obtained residence permits in this manner. Committee rejected PASOK’s proposal for Parliament to form a committee to investigate alleged bribes paid by Siemens to Greek politicians was rejected by the House late on Tuesday night. In a midnight vote, only 145 of 300 MPs voted in favor of PASOK’s proposal. All of the government deputies, except for Miltiades Evert who was ill, voted against the idea. Independent MP Costas Koukodimos also voted with the government to give it 151 votes. US Embassy The US Embassy in Athens, the US Consulate General in Thessaloniki and all US government offices in Greece will remain closed on Monday, February 18, in observance of Presidents’ Day, a US public holiday. Presidents’ Day honors presidents Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, whose birthdays are February 12 and 22 respectively. Devetzi record Triple-jump champion Piyi Devetzi broke her own indoor record with a jump of 14.89 meters at the Athina 2008 meeting in Paeania on Wednesday. This was the second-best performance in the world this year.