NEWS

In Brief

SUNFLOWER OIL

Firm accused of importing bulk of tainted shipment is shut down Deputy Development Minister Giorgos Vlachos yesterday ordered the closure of a firm called Manos, believed to have imported two-thirds of the contaminated sunflower oil found on the Greek market. The firm, believed to have refined and sold the suspect oil to retailers including Minerva and Elais, had been operating without a license, Vlachos said. The sunflower oil in question had been contaminated with mineral oil, a by-product of the distillation of petroleum that can be harmful if consumed, particularly by children. FIRE TALKS Minister, civil protection officials pledge better planning this year Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos and senior officials from the Civil Protection Agency yesterday discussed ways to better coordinate the country’s security services to avert and combat forest fires. Pavlopoulos stressed that the meeting was not «for show.» He said it was aimed at highlighting the «gaps» in the state mechanism and «to meet the demands of Greek society in order to protect citizens, the environment and our wealth of forestland.» He stressed the importance of closer cooperation between state services and local authorities. MAN STABBED Student, 21, dies in Cretan brawl A 21-year-old man was stabbed to death in a brawl outside a restaurant in Hania, Crete, late on Thursday police said. The man, a university student, suffered knife wounds to the chest while the assailant escaped on foot. Police said they have detained a number of people in connection with the incident but have yet to make any arrests. The cause of the fight is not known. Siemens probe A former OTE telecom executive and a current official, who have been implicated in a scandal involving electronics and engineering giant Siemens, yesterday denied any knowledge of bribes allegedly paid by the German colossus. Meanwhile, a Siemens official being questioned in connection with the scandal has asked for his investigation to be called off, saying the probe had failed to link him to any dubious transactions. Turkey visit Greece’s military chief, General Dimitrios Grapsas, will visit Turkey on May 25 to discuss boosting confidence-building measures between the two nations, the Defense Ministry said yesterday. Grapsas will be in Turkey for three days and meet with Turkish General Yasar Buyukanit, in a rare visit for a Greek military chief. The ministry said talks would focus on «ways of improving mutual trust and understanding.» Fat Tony flies Australian fugitive Tony Mokbel was extradited from Greece yesterday after losing a court battle to stay in the country. The Australian government put on a chartered jet for Mokbel, who was arrested in Athens in June last year. Mokbel, aka Fat Tony, had been on the run for 15 months. Australian press reports have described him as the country’s most wanted fugitive. Mokbel argues that he will not get a fair trial in Australia because of the publicity surrounding his case. Inmates transferred Some 400 female inmates from Korydallos prison in Athens will be transferred to a new correction facility in Thebes, northwest of the capital, this weekend, authorities said. The transfers are part of government plans to improve conditions in the country’s prisons which have been described as dismal. According to a report released by the Piraeus Prefecture last year, conditions at Korydallos prison fail to meet proper hygiene standards and almost 2,000 inmates are kept in cramped conditions. Strike off Guards at the country’s archaeological sites have called off a strike scheduled to have been held tomorrow, International Museum Day.