NEWS

IN BRIEF

PRECIOUS WATER

EYDAP says that reserves are down considerably compared to last year Athens’s water reserves have fallen by 10 months’ worth of consumption this year in comparison to last year, the Athens Water Company (EYDAP) said yesterday. There are 350 million fewer cubic meters of water in the capital’s reservoirs now than there were 12 months ago. EYDAP has said that if there is as little rainfall this year as last year, then emergency measures are likely to be taken. Speaking on the occasion of World Water Day yesterday, EYDAP’s president, Costas Costoulas, also said that the company would increase its charges at some point this year. The rises will be in line with inflation but there will be an added water treatment charge on customers’ bills. KILLER CAUGHT? Suspect who shot man in Athens road rage attack is in custody A 23-year-old Albanian man, believed to have shot dead a 40-year-old Greek in a road rage attack earlier this month, has been arrested, police in Athens said yesterday. The 23-year-old is alleged to have attacked the car passenger following an argument over right of way at the junction of Acharnon Street and Epirou Street. The Albanian reportedly admitted to the crime yesterday, saying he had been provoked by the 40-year-old who, he alleges, tried to strangle him. Police also arrested a 24-year-old believed to have driven the motorcycle from which the suspect shot his victim. MURDER TRIAL Woman tells of how IKA chief died The murder trial of Dimitris Vrakatselis, the man accused of killing Yiannis Vartholomaios, the former head of the Social Security Foundation (IKA), continued yesterday with the wife of the accused describing to the court how she had seen her husband struggle with Vartholomaios through the peephole of her apartment door. Thomais Vrakatseli admitted to having an affair with Vartholomaios but said that she thought her husband came to her apartment in the Athens neighborhood of Zografou to confront her and not the late IKA chief. She said she saw a scuffle break out outside her door when Vartholomaios left her apartment but did not intervene as she did not realize the other man was her husband. Giannakou better Former Education Minister Marietta Giannakou, who suffered a heart attack shortly after having a leg amputated, is on her way to making a full recovery, doctors at the Henry Dunant hospital in Athens said yesterday. Giannakou was taken out of the intensive-care unit on Monday and stopped receiving intravenous medication on Wednesday. Doctors said that she has not shown any signs of suffering from the fever that she had found hard to shake in previous weeks. Meningitis death A 19-year-old air force conscript, Panayiotis Kalogeropoulos, died from meningitis shortly after being taken to a hospital in the Peloponnesian city of Tripolis yesterday. Kalogeroupoulos’s fellow conscripts underwent precautionary tests even though the air force insisted that the unit had been regularly disinfected. Bird flu? Authorities in the northern region of Evros were on alert yesterday after bird flu was detected among poultry in a Turkish border village. It was unclear whether the virus was the H5N1 strain that can be fatal for humans. Poultry breeders have been warned to keep their livestock indoors and ensure they do not come into contact with wild birds. They have also been banned from selling poultry in open-air markets. Bulgarian conviction A Bulgarian court yesterday handed down a 16-year jail sentence to a 22-year-old man found guilty of murdering a Greek student in Plovdiv in December 2006. The man, who has both Bulgarian and Turkish citizenship, knifed the student seven times at a nightclub following an argument about a girl, the court heard. The court also awarded the student’s parents 125,000 euros in compensation for their loss. Armed robberies Two armed robbers held up a branch of Eurobank in Thessaloniki yesterday and made off with some 33,000 euros, police said. Two armed men also held up a tax office in Iraklion, Crete, and escaped with about 10,000 euros. No arrests had been made by last night.