NEWS

In Brief

September meeting

Magistrate writes to German, Swiss to confirm Siemens talks Investigating magistrate Nikos Zagorianos wrote to a prosecutor in Munich to confirm that he would be ready to meet with his German and Swiss counterparts in early September as part of the probe into the Siemens scandal, sources said yesterday. The meeting will take place in a country not connected to the Siemens scandal, under the auspices of the Eurojustice agency. Zagorianos will also question former Siemens official Reinhard Siekaczek regarding claims that the company’s Greek branch paid bribes to politicians in Athens to secure contracts. Border discovery Immigrants found in two trucks Border guards in Evros, northeastern Greece, found 25 Asian migrants locked up in tow trucks yesterday. None of the immigrants suffered any health problems as a result of being abandoned in the vehicles. One truck was discovered in the area of Aghios Vasilios containing 13 migrants from Pakistan while the other was found on the Alexandroupolis-Komotini national road. The 12 immigrants in the truck said they were from Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The drivers of the vehicles were not traced and no arrests were made. Appropriate action The Municipality of Maroussi urgently announced yesterday that it will appropriate a 1.1-hectare plot of land in the northern Athens suburb that its owner, a company that runs a nursing home, was going to sell to raise funds. The local authority moved swiftly to make the measure public as the owners were set to put the land up for auction tomorrow. Mayor Giorgos Patoulis said that the land, known as the Karalla Plot, was a vital part of the area’s greenery. Worker fall A 37-year-old power network technician was yesterday in serious condition in a Trikala hospital after falling 6 meters off an electricity pylon in the city. The man had been perched on the pylon inspecting power cables when he fell, for reasons that were yesterday unclear. The 37-year-old broke several bones in the fall but was out of danger, doctors said. Firefighter support US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has sent a letter to Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, thanking Greece for the firefighting team it sent to California last month to help local forces fight wildfires, the US Embassy said yesterday. «Greece’s immediate response to our call for help exemplifies our countries’ long history of standing together in times of need,» Rice is cited as saying in her letter. The US diplomat thanked the Greek firefighters, who were in California from July 15 to August 9, «for their courage and selflessness.» Child migrants The Children’s Rights Ombudsman yesterday called on the government to introduce further measures to boost the protection of unaccompanied child immigrants following a visit to a migrant reception center on the island of Lesvos. The ombudsman expressed reservations about the operation of the center and conditions there. It also called for the period of time during which child migrants are detained in such centers to be curbed and for the issuing of residence permits to all unaccompanied minors on humanitarian grounds.