NEWS

In Brief

SHOP FIRE

Firefighters battle flames at paint store in Ilioupolis Firefighters were last night fighting a blaze that broke out at a paint store in Ilioupolis, south of Athens. The fire was being fueled by the flammable materials in the store, which is on the ground floor of a three-story building. The upper floors and neighboring buildings had not been threatened by late yesterday. The extent of the damage wreaked on the store was not clear but there were no reports of any injuries. BOMB PROBE Device found at Bayer offices Police forensic experts were yesterday examining the remains of a bomb that exploded outside the offices of the German pharmaceutical firm Bayer in Maroussi, northern Athens, causing minor damage but no injuries. Police could not say when the device detonated, as the blast was not reported. The blast, which broke a window, was small-scale, according to police, who said it was likely that only the detonator went off, not the main charge. No one had claimed responsibility for the attack by late yesterday. Cabbie attacked A 44-year-old taxi driver was being treated for chest and shoulder wounds in an Athens hospital yesterday after being shot at dawn while trying to get into his cab outside his home in the southern suburb of Ilioupolis. Police believe that the two assailants had planned to kill the taxi driver, as officers found a homemade bomb under his car. The attackers probably failed to rig the bomb in time and shot the suspect instead, police said. Officers believe it might have been a revenge attack as the victim’s brother is in jail for manslaughter. Water charter A minister, local officials, representatives of the Athens Water Company (EYDAP), hotel owners and academics all signed a charter yesterday committing them to saving water. With Greece facing water shortages this summer, Skai TV and Radio organized the drafting of the charter and yesterday’s signing in a bid to reduce water wastage. Almost half of Greece’s water is lost through networks and pipes that are poorly maintained. University disruption A session by the senate of Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University was suspended yesterday after a group of leftist students entered the hall and insisted on observing the proceedings. A request by senate members for the students to leave was rebuffed, so the session was suspended. There were no reports of violence. In the zone The government’s controversial land zoning law was voted through Parliament early yesterday morning with 152 MPs voting in favor and 136 against. Public Works and Environment Minister Giorgos Souflias, responsible for drafting the law that seeks to regulate what type of construction can take place in certain areas, said the new legislation was «one of the most important corrective steps to be taken in recent decades.»