NEWS

In Brief

GIANNAKOU OPERATION

Ex-minister critical but stable following a second amputation Former Education Minister Marietta Giannakou yesterday underwent surgery yet again as doctors amputated an additional piece of her right leg to stave off the risk of infection. Giannakou was in critical but stable condition yesterday after the operation, doctors said. The former minister had surgery last week after suffering a heart attack. Just under a month ago, surgeons amputated her right leg to avert the risk of an infection that developed following a fracture. Doctors could not rule out the possibility of additional complications. Police chief New head of force calls on officers to be more active in tackling crime The new chief of the Greek Police (ELAS), Lieutenant General Vassilis Tsiatouras, told his officers yesterday that they need to become more active in tackling crime. «Citizens do not expect us to be simple observers who record their problems. They demand action from us,» said Tsiatouras as he took up his duties after being appointed last week. «The police have to combat crime, not personalities or social groups,» added Tsiatouras, who takes over from Anastassios Dimoschakis. Former rector released Fraud convict out on health grounds The former rector of Panteion University, Emilios Metaxopoulos, who was sentenced to 25 years in jail last summer, was released on bail yesterday due to health problems. A five-member appeals panel decided to release Metaxopoulos, one of 10 senior academics and managers jailed last June for embezzlement, hearing that the former rector is suffering from liver problems and is on a transplant list. Metaxopoulos has been asked to post bail of 100,000 euros. Lucrative hit Three robbers made off with more than 300,000 euros yesterday morning after attacking two security guards who had been transferring the money from a post office in Koropi, eastern Attica. One of the guards was slightly injured. The three assailants, who had all been wearing helmets, fled on a stolen motorcycle, which they later abandoned, switching to a sports utility vehicle. Information on the go The City of Athens yesterday started operating a van that will travel parts of the capital to inform residents of municipal projects and to record problems in different areas. «The new mobile information booth is the first of its kind in Greece and will operate as a tool for consultation and dialogue with Athenians,» said Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis. The van’s first stop will be in Votanikos and on Alexandras Avenue, while between April and June it will visit seven different city districts. Rubbish strike Municipality workers will launch a 24-hour strike on Friday in protest at the government’s pension reform plans to be followed by more protest action next week. Municipal authorities have called on residents to keep household waste indoors to help avoid rubbish piling up on the streets. Municipality workers are scheduled to meet on March 12 to decide whether they will continue their protest action. Kosovo’s impact Kosovo’s declaration of independence is a violation of international law that could spark a chain reaction, Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico said in Athens yesterday. «The separation of one state can create a chain of negative consequences in other countries,» he said after meeting with Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. Bratislava has previously said it would take about four months to make a decision on whether to recognize Kosovo, amid fears it could set a precedent for the country’s minority Hungarian community. Deadly intruder Police in Athens were yesterday investigating the murder of a 64-year-old woman found dead of a bullet wound in her apartment in the central district of Kypseli. The woman’s body was found by her sister at around 1 p.m. The door of the apartment had been forced open. Builder falls A 60-year-old man died yesterday after falling from the third floor of a building site in Trikala, central Greece. Authorities said that it was not clear what cause Nikolaos Louggos to lose his balance and fall.