NEWS

In Brief

TWO ARRESTS

Youths clash with police in protest against landfill A group of youths clashed with riot police on the island of Corfu late on Saturday as they protested against a new landfill being built in the area of Lefkimi, authorities said yesterday. Clashes then took place outside the police station in Lefkimi where the youths threw stones and firebombs at police. Soon afterward two men were arrested, including a priest, in connection with the violence and were expected to face charges yesterday. There were no reports of injuries. EMPTY STREETS Summer storm strikes Athens streets were empty yesterday as many of the city’s residents have left for their summer break. The summer holiday season peaks on Friday with the religious holiday of the Dormition of the Virgin. A summer storm yesterday afternoon caught many people off guard as rain pelted different parts of Greece including Elefsina, west of Athens, which was hit by a hail storm. Television footage showed pictures of holes made in outdoor plastic tables by the force of the hail which also broke car lights.The fire service said it had received dozens of calls from different ares, even in Gytheion, southern Greece, for assistance with flooding. Protection racket Two men have been arrested in Patras for their alleged involvement in a protection racket, according to police. The suspects are believed to have been paid 400 euros a week for the last four years from a cafe owner in the Vrachneika area in exchange for their «protection.» Police said one of the suspects is also involved in another racket – along with 27 other suspects – relating to allegations of blackmail. Car gang Police have broken up a gang of car thieves believed to have been responsible for some 160 thefts that took place since July 2004, according to authorities. Two men were arrested, aged 57 and 45, and police are searching for another two men in connection with the gang’s activities. All suspects are Greek nationals, police added. The gang is believed to have stolen vehicles from different areas of Attica before selling them for parts. Prankster caught A 16-year-old male has been arrested for allegedly making at least 20 prank calls to police regarding crimes that never took place, authorities said. The teenager was caught on Saturday after using a public phone to notify police that he had heard gunfire during an argument between foreign nationals. The suspect was expected to face charges yesterday.