NEWS

In Brief

Gay marriages

Prosecutor’s bid to block ceremony spurs defiance A bid by Supreme Court prosecutor Giorgos Sanidas to prevent gay marriages appears to have failed to dampen the spirits of homosexual couples who want to tie the knot. Four announcements for gay marriages appeared in the Epochi newspaper, which also published news of the wedding that was due to take place on the island of Tilos last Saturday but was canceled after Sanidas’s intervention. «Any politicians who argue that Greek society is not mature enough to accept gay weddings are hiding behind their own immaturity,» said Leo Kalovyrnas, a member of the Gay and Lesbian Association. ND in lead Support for ruling party rises despite discontent over prices New Democracy is edging away from PASOK, according to an opinion poll conducted by GPO on behalf of Mega TV. The survey indicated that support for ND rose to 30.8 percent from 30.4 percent in April. Support for PASOK dipped slightly from 27.5 percent to 27.3. Support for the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) has also fallen, from 13.7 to 12.9 percent, according to the poll. Despite the slight increase in support for the ruling conservatives, almost eight in 10 respondents said that the government has not done enough to tackle rising prices. Murder arrest Man detained over bar killing A 32-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering Ion Nicolae, a 28-year-old Romanian, outside a bar in Attikis Square in central Athens four months ago. Police said yesterday that the suspect is an Albanian national who went by the alias of Mario. Officers found him in possession of a handgun and later discovered a Kalashnikov rifle at his apartment. Police believe «Mario» was a member of a gang in Athens that was expecting to receive a large shipment of hashish from Albania. Protester death A 43-year-old woman who was seriously injured last week during a protest in Lefkimi, southeastern Corfu, died of her injuries yesterday. The woman had been hit by a motorcyclist who had been trying to elude arrest by riot police officers trying to quell the protest. She had been on life support in a local hospital since the incident last Friday. Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said that there was no evidence that the incident had been the fault of police. Fugitive motorist Police in Trikala were yesterday seeking a motorist believed to have abandoned his two passengers after they sustained injuries in a crash near the town in central Greece. According to the testimony of the injured passengers, the 42-year-old motorist lost control of the car which veered off the road and into a street light. The motorist is then alleged to have driven off, leaving the 33-year-old man and 30-year-old woman on the roadside. Record bougatsa A group of 40 bakers from the northern city of Serres earned themselves a place in the Guinness Book of World Records after baking a 250-kilo bougatsa – a traditional cream pie. The pie – 20 meters long and 60 centimeters thick – took the bakers nearly three hours to make in a specially made 20-meter oven. The record pie was baked as part of Saturday’s inaugural Bougatsa Festival. Snatchers bagged Police arrested a family of four Bulgarian nationals, including their two children, in central Athens on Saturday. The four visited Greece on a regular basis to allegedly go on bag- and purse-snatching sprees, authorities said yesterday. The family is believed to have targeted victims on the capital’s public transport system and would snatch purses and bags by cutting the shoulder strap with a razor. Police found in their possession 7,000 euros in cash, small amounts of foreign currency, jewelry, mobile phones and laptop computers. Joint drill Greece and France kicked off yesterday the first ever military exercise with Cyprus off the coast of the divided Mediterranean island despite objections from the Turkish Cypriots. The search and rescue drills named «Argonaut» are the first between the three nations and will be held until Friday. (AFP) Drug ring Police said yesterday they have arrested five suspects, an Egyptian and four Albanian nationals, in Athens who are believed to be members of an international drug smuggling ring and confiscated small quantities of cannabis. Police said the suspects have been linked to last month’s arrest of a retired police officer in Ioannina, northern Greece, who was found in possession of almost 100 kilos of cannabis. Elderly care Municipal programs providing home care for some 100,000 elderly citizens might have to be suspended as funding has not been renewed, it was revealed yesterday. The current program, and its funding, ends on August 31.