NEWS

In Brief

PAPANDREOU FIGHTBACK

PASOK chief warns rebels after dispute with former PM Simitis George Papandreou said yesterday, in his first televised interview since his dispute with former party leader and prime minister Costas Simitis, that the «joke of people in PASOK thinking they can play the rebel must end.» Papandreou insisted that he had no choice but to stop considering Simitis part of his parliamentary group after the former premier went public with a dispute over whether to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. «Mr Simitis could have called me instead of having this public confrontation,» Papandreou said. FATAL PLUNGE Girl, 4, dies, parents survive after island car accident A 4-year-old girl died yesterday morning when the car in which she was traveling with her parents plunged into the sea in the port of Argostoli on the Ionian island of Cephalonia. The 37-year-old man and his 30-year-old wife, who were not named, managed to escape from the vehicle. The father pulled the 4-year-old out of the car but she was unconscious. She was taken to the hospital but doctors were not able to revive her. The incident occurred at about 3.30 a.m. but it was not clear what led to the car veering into the 3-meter-deep water. FREE TRAVEL Staff lock up ticket machines Commuters who use the bus tomorrow will travel for free because the employees of the ETHEL bus company have decided to lock the ticket machines to coincide with a protest being organized by the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE). The bus employees voiced their opposition to the rise in ticket prices. Heating up Meteorologists said yesterday that people should not be concerned by the fact that the temperature in some parts of the country will reach as high as 39 Celsius (102 Fahrenheit) today and tomorrow. «A sudden rise in temperature is not unusual in June,» the head of the National Weather Service, Dimitris Ziakopoulos, told Kathimerini yesterday. «The heat will not last for long and buildings will not have a chance to absorb heat as the temperature will drop to between 20C (68F) and 22C (72F). Ziakopoulos did not rule out the possibility of another hot spell before the end of the month. Bright spark Firefighters were called yesterday to put out several small fires caused by a train that was emitting sparks as it traveled through Lianokladi in Fthiotida, north of Attica. It is estimated that the sparks caused more than 15 fires when they landed in dry brush. All the fires were extinguished before any serious damage was done. The fire service indicated that the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) should have done more to clear dry shrubbery from near its tracks. Cyprus talks United Nations envoy Lynn Pascoe yesterday held separate meetings with Greek-Cypriot President Dimitrios Christofias and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in Nicosia in a bid to breathe fresh life into stalled peace talks. Pascoe said he wanted to assess the stance of each side before examining how the UN «can help move the process forward.» «There are huge hopes and expectations that the process will move forward rapidly and that there will be a solution to the Cyprus problem,» he said. Pascoe could not determine a date for direct talks. Talat reportedly refused an invitation to dine with Christofias and Pascoe. Bus crash Eight people sustained minor injuries yesterday after an intercity coach collided with a truck near the central town of Trikala. It was unclear how the accident occurred. Robbery ring Police in Attica said yesterday that they had arrested two Albanian nationals, aged 20 and 22, believed to be members of a robbery ring behind several armed robberies of banks and other businesses as well as burglaries. One of the ring’s biggest hits was on a branch of Bank of Cyprus in the northern suburb of Neo Iraklion, which netted 35,000 euros. The same ring is believed to have stolen 30,000 euros from the office of the Social Security Foundation (IKA) in the same area. Corfu protesters Two residents of Corfu, arrested following clashes with police outside a landfill in the south of the island on Monday, yesterday appeared before a prosecutor. It is believed that the protesters may have caused the injury of four police officers, two of whom were still in hospital yesterday. Locals are objecting to the operation of a landfill in their area.