NEWS

In Brief

Illegal immigration

Minister calls for closer ties with countries of origin Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos yesterday appealed to his visiting Swedish counterpart Tobias Billstrom to push for measures to tackle illegal immigration more effectively when Sweden adopts the European Union’s rotating presidency in June. Pavlopoulos prioritized «boosting agreements with immigrants’ countries of origin to facilitate legal immigration, curb illegal immigration, aid repatriations and boost growth in source countries.» Rafter dead Man, 30, trapped in tree root Rescue workers in the Peloponnese late yesterday located the body of a 30-year-old man who had gone missing on Sunday afternoon during a rafting excursion on the Lousios River with six others. According to rescuers, the man had become trapped in a tree root in the River Alfeios, into which the Lousios flows. The man disappeared after his boat capsized in choppy waters. The owner of the firm that organized the excursion has been detained. Pilot conviction An Athens court yesterday handed down a suspended jail sentence of four years to a Turkish fighter jet pilot involved in a collision with a Greek jet over the Aegean in May 2006 that resulted in the death of 35-year-old Costas Iliakis, the pilot of the Greek aircraft. Halil Ibrahim Ozdemir, who was convicted in absentia, has 15 days to appeal the sentence or face arrest if he enters Greece. Cyprus atrocities Questioned by reporters yesterday about the recent confession by a popular Turkish actor to having killed 10 people during the 1974 invasion of Cyprus, government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said «the matter will not be brushed aside.» «Whatever action is necessary will be taken,» Antonaros said without elaborating. Murder solved Thessaloniki police have arrested a 35-year-old man for the murder of a gasoline station attendant in Nikopoli last week. Both men were immigrants from the same country, which police did not identify. The man arrested is also suspected, along with two other of his compatriots, of having abducted 59-year-old Thessaloniki businessman Giorgos Aivazoglou in October last year. Waste blast A dynamite explosion at a waste treatment center in Lefkimi, southern Corfu, caused severe damage to the site, which is guarded by riot police. Another waste treatment plant on the island, at Tembloni, was closed last Friday by residents claiming the site had reached capacity. Taxi attack Taxi driver Haralambos Stylianou, 59, is in serious condition after being repeatedly stabbed in the stomach by a passenger on the road between Nicosia and Limassol, on Cyprus, on Sunday. The perpetrator eluded arrest. Station closed The Thiseion station on the Piraeus-Kifissia urban electric railway (ISAP) closed yesterday for works and will remain closed until March 20. The stations between Tavros and Omonia that were closed over the weekend reopened yesterday.