NEWS

In Brief

BUILDING COLLAPSE

Greece sends help after block in Albania reduced to rubble A Greek rescue team and army doctors were dispatched yesterday to the Albanian town of Gjirokastra, after an apartment building partly collapsed. Three people were reported missing and at least four were injured as rescuers continued to search the rubble last night. The building housed 20 apartments and the collapse is believed to have been caused by work taking place on the foundations of an adjacent building. VATOPEDI DEAL Reports of 9 mln ‘donation’ The Vatopedi Monastery, which is at the center of a controversial property deal with the state, issued a statement yesterday denying any wrongdoing after reports suggested that a Cyprus-based company, which bought one of the properties that the monastery had obtained as part of the deal, gifted the monks another 9 million euros after the exchange was completed. Noliden Ltd bought a building in Athens’s Olympic Village from the monastery for 41 million euros. The Mount Athos monastery said that the extra 9 million euros was a donation for a foundation to help treat disabled people, which as yet has not been set up. Seeking asylum Several hundred Pakistani migrants protested outside the Aliens’ Bureau on Petrou Ralli Street near central Athens on Saturday, closing the road to traffic. The migrants were protesting the fact that only 50 asylum applications are accepted every week and that those wanting to submit their papers have to wait in line from Friday night. EuroBasket 2009 The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) will be one of Greece’s opponents in the group stage of next year’s European Basketball Championship. Saturday’s draw for the EuroBasket tournament that will be held in Poland also pitted Greece against Israel and Croatia, both tough opponents. The 15 teams that have qualified for the tournament were divided into four groups, with Greece in Group A, while a 16th country will be added after a final qualifying round next August. The tournament will be held from September 7 to 21 in seven Polish cities. Dead wife A 38-year-old Romanian man was arrested in Athens on Saturday as the chief suspect in the murder of his wife, also from Romania. Police said that the man confessed to killing his wife but claimed that it was an accident. He reportedly told officers that he had been playing with a gun, which went off by mistake and resulted in his wife being hit by a bullet in the neck.