NEWS

In Brief

Would-be migrants

Garbage truck driver found with six; dozens stopped on islands Police in Trikala, central Greece, yesterday arrested the driver of a garbage collection truck after discovering six illegal immigrants concealed in the vehicle. Officers arrested the man after a car chase. It is unclear where the migrants were from. Meanwhile, port authority officials detained 63 would-be migrants on Samos. Another 26 migrants were detained on Farmakonisi. Doctors Without Borders, also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), is to hold a press conference in Athens today about the living conditions of illegal immigrants in Greece. Flight problems Birds ground plane from Thessaloniki; more OA domestic route disruption The 226 passengers who had been due to board a flight to Britain from Thessaloniki airport on Monday evening had to stay the night in the northern city as security officials feared that birds had been sucked into the engine during the plane’s arrival in Thessaloniki. Security officials sounded the alert after finding several dead birds on the airport runway. Yesterday Olympic Airlines domestic flights were subject to delays and cancellations again yesterday due to an ongoing strike by pilots. Passengers should call the airline on 210.966.6666 before setting off to catch a flight. Name game Greek, FYROM leaders at summit Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and the president of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Branko Crvenkovski, yesterday attended a summit in the Bulgarian resort of Pomorie. According to sources, the FYROM delegation said it would be prepared to engage in talks with the Greek side about the Macedonia name dispute. However, it was not thought that substantive talks could be held just 10 days before elections in FYROM. Bank targeted Unidentified assailants planted a homemade explosive device in front of a branch of the National Bank in central Athens early yesterday. The blast that followed damaged the bank’s facade and an ATM. No one was injured. Rights pamphlet The Interior Ministry has prepared an English-language pamphlet informing people of their rights and how they can settle disputes with government departments. The pamphlet has been distributed to KEPs (citizens’ information and service centers) across Greece and to all ministries. Votanikos traffic Traffic in the Votanikos area continued to be heavy yesterday as trucks loaded goods after a 10-strike by truck owners. The industrial district of Votanikos has a large number of transport agencies where goods had piled up during protest action. Weapons dumped Police said some World War II weapons found in a grove of trees near the old airport in Hellenikon yesterday are unlikely to be related to any terrorist group. Eight mortar weapons and two hand grenades were found and removed by army experts. The weapons are likely to have been dumped there after having being found in a old storeroom or house being demolished. Permit forgers Three Pakistani nationals have been arrested in Koropi, east of Athens, on suspicion of creating forged documents to help tens of migrants obtain residence permits. Police said yesterday that they confiscated a host of official papers, 15 passports, stamps and other forged documents that were used in the applications submitted by migrants who paid the suspects 60 euros for the paperwork. It was not clear exactly how many immigrants sought the trio’s services. School canteens The Education and Interior ministries signed a joint agreement yesterday to step up health and hygiene checks on school canteens. A special body will be set up to conduct inspections on the canteens in an effort to ensure that they are selling healthy food to schoolchildren. Gambling arrests Five people have been arrested and two others are being sought in Hania, Crete, for operating illegal slot machines on the premises. The suspects had converted computers in the backrooms of cafeterias to allow punters to bet.