In Brief

Reforms pledge

PM vows to press ahead with changes to education as protesters line up Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis yesterday said he was set on pushing through controversial education reforms at a ceremony in Serres marking the 10th anniversary of the death of his uncle Constantinos Karamanlis, the founder of the ruling New Democracy party. «Forward-looking policies are those that tackle deadlocks in the education sector,» Karamanlis said during a speech at the northern city’s technical college. Many students and professors object to the reforms which open the way for private universities. Student protests are planned for Thursday and Friday in Athens and a three-day strike by lecturers is to start on Wednesday. Changing weather After hailstorm, heat wave expected A hailstorm lasting about half an hour destroyed a number of crops on Saturday in the western part of Kavala prefecture in northeastern Greece. Officials said that the extent of the damage was not immediately known. State inspectors are expected in the area today to assess the level of compensation that local farmers should receive. The freak hailstorm came as Greece prepares for a sharp rise in temperatures this week. Weather forecasters are predicting that the temperature could reach 36 Celsius (97 Fahrenheit) by Wednesday. Omonia killing A 21-year-old man was killed after allegedly trying to rob a drug addict in Omonia Square early on Saturday morning. Police said that the Iraqi national was stabbed in the chest and stomach by his would-be victim, who was also injured in the struggle. The 29-year-old was taken to the hospital for treatment and placed under police guard. Fatal jealousy A 42-year-old Albanian man was charged this weekend with fatally knifing the elderly father of a man he believed was having an affair with his wife. Police in Ilioupolis, southeastern Athens, said the suspect handed himself in after killing the 81-year-old man. ATM lifted A ring of robbers removed an ATM from a bank in the Cretan port of Iraklion early Saturday and fled without being noticed, police conceded yesterday. Locals found the facade of the bank badly damaged and the ATM missing later on Saturday. Police believe the hit was the work of a gang that had been removing ATMs from banks in Crete for months until last November when police staged a crime crackdown on the island. Rape charge A 26-year-old man is to face a Kozani prosecutor after allegedly raping a 22-year-old woman, while videotaping her, and then attempting to blackmail her.