NEWS

In Brief

Bomb hoaxes

Pranksters cause travel disruptions on Athens metro, train to Thessaloniki Two bomb hoaxes caused travel disruptions on the Athens metro and on a Thessaloniki-bound train yesterday evening. An unidentified caller warned staff at the Omonia metro station that a bomb had been planted there, prompting an evacuation of trains and a search, which turned up nothing. Meanwhile, a train en route to Thessaloniki from Larissa stopped outside the northern city after a caller warned that a bomb had been planted at a station in the city’s suburbs. The 110 passengers were evacuated for a search, which also turned up nothing, and then boarded the same train to their destination. Ieronymos discharged Archbishop cancels trip to Istanbul to recover from a foot fracture Archbishop Ieronymos was yesterday discharged from the hospital where he had been receiving treatment for a foot fracture. Ieronymos canceled a scheduled visit tomorrow to Istanbul, where he had planned to see Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios. Fatal FALL Man dies trying to get into his flat A Romanian man, who was locked out of his central Athens apartment, attempted to jump onto his neighbor’s fourth-floor balcony in an attempt to reach his own home when he slipped and was killed. Police said they had received a call about an attempted break-in from his neighbor when the Romanian national, believed to have been drunk, slipped during the attempt. Guard shot Armed assailants shot and injured a security guard in Aspropyrgos, west of Athens, early yesterday, police said. The 34-year-old victim was guarding the offices of a cement company when he came across an unknown number of armed assailants who shot him in the leg before fleeing empty-handed. The security guard was taken to a local hospital for treatment where doctors said his injuries were not serious. Earlier, the same gang is believed to have robbed the offices of Halkor, where they stole a safe and a car. Rhodes fire A fire that broke out in an old flour mill on Rhodes on Tuesday night totally gutted the structure, which had been declared a historic building. It is unclear how the blaze broke out in the mill, built during the Italian occupation of the island early last century. No one was injured. Travel expenses Administrative staff at the Education Ministry are threatening to strike in the second half of May, when high school students will be sitting their university entrance exams, it emerged yesterday. The public servants are considering the action because they want an extra payment of 250 euros a month to cover their extra costs since the ministry moved its headquarters to Maroussi, northern Athens, from the city center a few months ago. The government has offered the employees a one-off payment of 3,000 euros and 105 euros per month. Earth Hour The island of Aegina will be Greece’s representative in a worldwide initiative, known as Earth Hour, this Saturday at 8 p.m. to save energy, it was revealed yesterday. The scheme, which began in Australia, aims to get people across the world to switch off their lights for an hour. More than 30 big cities have signed up, including Sydney, Chicago and Dublin, but Athens has not shown any interest. More than 9,000 businesses and 136,000 individuals have indicated their intention to participate at www.earthhour.org, including a group of activists from Aegina. Roadside body The body of a man who was shot dead has been found at the side of the Trikala-Ioannina national road in central Greece, police said yesterday. The man, believed to be a 24-year-old foreign national, was shot in the head and has not been identified, as he did not have any documents identifying him on his person. Two men have been taken in for questioning as police continued to search the crime scene for clues. Contraband smokes Customs officials in Thessaloniki yesterday seized 902 cardboard boxes containing more than 9 million contraband cigarettes, which had been imported to the northern port from China. Customs officials said that the illegal products represented 1.2 million euros in unpaid taxes and customs charges.