In Brief

Crete quake

5.5-level tremor jars Crete but causes no problems A strong earthquake, measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale, shook eastern Crete early yesterday morning but there were no injuries or damage reported. The quake’s epicenter was located at the ancient site of Zakros, seismologists said. Cyprus talks Bakoyannis sees ‘decisive moment’ for peace process Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and Cyprus President Dimitris Christofias yesterday discussed the progress that has been made by Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot working groups during the first day of her visit to Nicosia. Bakoyannis, who also met with her Cypriot counterpart Markos Kyprianos, said it was «a decisive moment» for the Cyprus problem and described Christofias’s efforts to restart peace talks as «brave and difficult.» Presidential appeal Papoulias meets consumers, calls for stricter inspections President Karolos Papoulias yesterday called for an intensification of state inspections on retailers following a series of price hikes that have provoked consumer protests. Papoulias made his appeal following a meeting with representatives of consumer protection groups. «We must all seek to protect consumers, inspections must be intensified and we must be very strict with those who think they can benefit at the expense of the majority,» Papoulias said. G8 Summit The Japanese ambassador in Greece, Takanori Kitamura, has told Kathimeirni English Edition that his country is aiming to convince the leaders of the G8 countries to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 when they meet in Japan next month. (Page 5) Siemens testimonies Former PASOK minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos yesterday denied any involvement in alleged bribes paid by German electronics giant Siemens to Greek politicians to secure state contracts. Meanwhile, the wife of a former high-ranking executive at Siemens Hellas testified before a prosecutor in connection with the sale of a building on Tinos through an offshore company that has been implicated in the Siemens scandal. Baby drama The father of a newborn baby in Trikala, central Greece, enlisted the help of a prosecutor when a local hospital was unable to appoint a doctor to accompany the infant to a hospital in another city for treatment. Doctors in Trikala said the child needed to be transferred to Larissa to a hospital which had a free incubator but said they could not send a medic to accompany the infant on the journey. The father then telephoned the prosecutor, who intervened and arranged for a doctor to be assigned. Bloody raid The employee of a transport firm in the central Athens district of Votanikos sustained minor injuries yesterday when unidentified assailants burst in, grabbed an undetermined sum and fired warning shots before fleeing. The employee was transferred to hospital for first-aid treatment but was not deemed to have been seriously hurt. Pangrati blast A homemade explosive device caused serious damage to a butcher’s store in Pangrati and two parked cars when it detonated early yesterday morning. The force of the blast also smashed the windows in neighboring stores and apartments, police said. The device used was a metal pipe filled with explosives, according to police, who said the attack had probably been a settling of accounts. Zoning plan Environment and Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias yesterday submitted to Parliament the final and revised version of the national land zoning plan, which purportedly contains more environmentally friendly provisions. The revised plan, enriched with the proposals of deputies from all parties, is due for parliamentary approval in mid-June. Greek-Turkish ties Greece’s armed forces chief Dimitrios Voulgaris is due to travel to Turkey on June 16 for a three-day visit to meet with his Turkish counterpart Ilker Basbug, Voulgaris’s office said yesterday. The two generals are to hold talks aimed at boosting bilateral defense cooperation.