NEWS

In Brief

Vatopedi probe

Committee to give findings to parliament speaker today An investigative committee looking into whether any politicians should be charged in connection with the transfer of prime real estate from the state to the Vatopedi Monastery in return for less-valuable land is to submit its findings to parliament speaker Dimitris Sioufas today. The document will include the reports of all five parties represented in Parliament. Main opposition PASOK is expected to reiterate its call for the subsequent investigation of specific MPs found to be implicated in the affair. 5.2-magnitude quake Strong tremor near Lamia A strong quake, measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale, struck the area near Amfikleia, about 60 kilometers southeast of Lamia, just after 10.30 a.m. on Saturday but no injuries were reported. The quake, of which the epicenter was located north of Mount Parnassos, reportedly damaged about 20 traditional stone homes. There were also reports of landslides on local roads as the quake dislodged rocks from roadside mountain slopes. Smugglers caught Police in northern Greece were yesterday questioning a 55-year-old Greek man and his 31-year-old son after the pair were stopped near the Turkish border on Friday night driving two cars in which a total of 10 illegal immigrants were hiding. Police, who tailed the vehicles from the border village of Soufli for several kilometers, said each of the migrants had paid $2,000 for their transfer into Greece. Meanwhile on Samos, coast guard officials detained 67 would-be migrants who arrived on the Aegean island from neighboring Turkey in three different boats. Christmas shopping With many stores still clearing up the damage from a week of riots, shopkeepers in Athens and Piraeus are to extend their opening hours until 10 p.m. from today in the countdown to Christmas. On Mondays and Wednesdays, most stores will close at 6 p.m. and on Saturdays at 8 p.m. Doctors strike Private doctors across the country are to strike today in protest at the failure of social insurance funds to pay them for the services they have provided to the funds’ beneficiaries over the past year. Protesting doctors claim they have only been paid for the first two months of 2008. Trolley death A woman was fatally injured after being hit by a trolley bus in Nea Halkidona, a northern suburb of Athens, late on Friday, police said. No details were made public about the identity of the woman nor the circumstances of the incident. Farmers’ blockade Protesting farmers yesterday morning used their tractors to block the Thessaloniki-Veria national highway at the Halkidona junction. They are protesting rising production costs and dropping retail prices as well as fewer subsidies.