NEWS

In Brief

Diaspora vote

Gov’t appeals for opposition backing as bill put to House A draft law that would give some 400,000 Greeks living abroad the right to vote in general elections in Greece was submitted in Parliament yesterday. The law would allow Greeks abroad to vote in any general election after January 1, 2011. Government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros appealed to opposition not to «deprive diaspora Greeks of their right to vote» following statements by PASOK and the Communist Party opposing the content of the bill. The ruling party needs 200 of the 300 MPs in Parliament to vote in favor of the draft law if it is to become legislation. Pensioner raped Robbers attack 73-year-old A 73-year-old woman was in a Rethymnon hospital yesterday after two intruders broke into her house in a village near the port and sexually assaulted her before robbing her. According to the woman’s account of her ordeal, the two men bound her eyes with gauze before one of them raped her. They then took 350 euros in cash and some jewelry the woman had in a drawer and fled. Neighbors alerted the police after hearing her cries. A coroner confirmed that the 73-year-old had been raped and beaten. Eventful heist A lone armed robber wearing a motorcycle helmet walked into a bank on the capital’s busy Panepistimiou Street early yesterday and escaped with a sack of cash in what was an eventful getaway. Upon leaving the bank, guards forced the robber back inside but he threatened staff and demanded to be shown the back entrance through which he then fled after breaking down an aluminum door. With the guards hot on his heels, he ran through a parking lot, leapt over a gate and disappeared. It was unclear how much cash he netted. Surgery cuts Between 8,000 and 10,000 scheduled operations at Thessaloniki hospitals alone have been canceled due to this week’s nationwide strike by doctors, local unionists said yesterday. Doctors are on Monday to decide whether to continue their action, following pledges by Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos to honor an agreement reached in December that he backtracked on earlier this month, triggering the rolling strikes. Weather woes A cold snap expected to start today is to intensify over the weekend with temperatures plunging to several degrees below zero, as well as rain and snowfall in many parts and strong winds expected to disrupt coastal shipping. Temperatures are forecast to drop to -8 Celsius (19.4 Fahrenheit). Sunday and Monday are expected to bring snow to the northern suburbs of Athens. Blasts A Molotov cocktail hurled at the entrance of a National Bank branch in the northern town of Xanthi early yesterday by unidentified assailants caused serious damage to the bank’s premises but no injuries. Two fire engines were required to douse the fire provoked by the explosion. In Thessaloniki, a homemade explosive device comprising gas canisters detonated outside a car dealership. There was no damage or injuries reported.