NEWS

In Brief

PENSION BILL

Deputies to vote on legislation today amid demands for referendum MPs are set to take a final vote on the government’s pensions bill today after an intervention by PASOK last week. The opposition parties are set to table a motion in Parliament asking for the legislation to be put to a referendum, even though they do not have enough deputies to vote such a move through the House. MP Alekos Alavanos, the former leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), is expected to meet with President Karolos Papoulias in an attempt to convince him that the bill goes against the Greek Constitution and that he should use his powers to block it. A Greek president has never stopped a law that has been voted through Parliament. UNLUCKY BREAK Archbishop’s visit to patriarch off after Ieronymos fractures his ankle Archbishiop Ieronymos is set to cancel a trip to Istanbul on Friday to meet with Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios after fracturing his ankle. The head of the Church of Greece underwent a minor medical procedure after twisting his right foot during a visit to Kalamata in the Peloponnese earlier this week. Ieronymos is likely to have to remain in the hospital until tonight, doctors said yesterday. MULTIPLE MURDER Father and son go on trial The trial began on Monday of livestock farmer Dionysis Foukas, 38, who has been charged with the murder of five hunters 16 months ago near Agrinion, central Greece. His 74-year-old father Lysimachos, charged with being an accessory to the killings, also went on trial in a court in the town of Aigion. The 38-year-old confessed to police that he shot the five men after they argued with his father, who was upset that the hunters were trespassing on his land and scaring his sheep. The lawyer of the two accused men had asked for the trial to be postponed but the court rejected the appeal. Bank attacked A group of unknown assailants attacked a branch of Emporiki Bank in Peristeri, western Athens, with firebombs, destroying the branch. There were no reports of injuries. Police detained 10 people in connection to the attack but all suspects were later freed without any arrests being made due to lack of evidence, police added. Drug hauls Police confiscated more than 170 kilos of hash in separate inspections on Monday. An Albanian national was arrested near the northwestern town of Kastoria on Saturday night after police found more than 125 kilos of cannabis in his car, which bore forged license plates. Officers chased and cornered the suspected dealer after he refused to respond to a police signal. A second suspect fled. Also on Monday, police in Larissa detained a 26-year-old man and 19-year-old woman as suspected members of a cross-border drug-dealing ring after seizing 45 kilos of hash. Assault probe Police in Thessaloniki said on Monday that they had identified the perpetrator behind an attack at a local club on Saturday that led to one man being shot in the leg. Officers raided the house of the suspect – a 27-year-old foreigner – confiscating 200 grams of opium, small quantities of cocaine and ammunition for a firearm. They also arrested the suspect’s two Greek flatmates, aged 39 and 40, and a 29-year-old foreign woman. They were still seeking the 27-year-old yesterday. Ambulance strike Ambulance services will be disrupted between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. today as staff of the National First Aid Center (EKAB) stage a walkout. Workers are demanding the immediate employment of permanent staff, the classification of their job as hazardous and a health risk and the withdrawal of the pension bill. Armed robberies Thieves made away with 26,130 euros in cash in two separate armed robberies on National Bank branches in Thessaloniki on Monday. The first robbery took place in Kalamaria by two assailants that took nearly 15,000 euros. Ten minutes later, two men held up a bank in the village of Aghios Athanassios, taking with them about 11,000 euros.