NEWS

In Brief

VATOPEDI INQUIRY

Ministry official implicates superiors and Real Estate Corp The general secretary of the Agricultural Development Ministry, Costas Skiadas, yesterday denied any wrongdoing in the Vatopedi land scandal and instead indicated that responsibility for any deals that damaged the public interest lies with ministers and the Hellenic Public Real Estate Corporation (KED). Skiadas appeared before the prosecutors investigating whether a property exchange between the state and the Vatopedi Monastery was heavily weighed in the monks’ favor. Skiadas denied any breach of trust and said that he merely signed agreements that had been set up by KED and approved by ministers. RACIST BEATINGS? Two detained in Aegaleo Two suspects were detained by police in Aegaleo, western Athens, yesterday in connection with attacks on four Pakistani nationals in the area over the past few days. Two of the Pakistanis were in hospital yesterday, one with serious eye injuries and the second with stitches in his head. Two more Pakistanis suffered less serious injuries. Another three Pakistanis who were reportedly present during the beatings were also being questioned. ‘Til death An 81-year-old woman and a 78-year-old man are believed to have died at their home in central Greece within hours of each other from natural causes. The elderly couple were found dead in a house in the village of Mouzaki near Karditsa yesterday but authorities said that there was no indication they had been attacked. According to an initial assessment, the woman died first and the man passed away just a few hours later. Women online Only a third of Greek women use the Internet, as opposed to 45 percent of men, according to research conducted by the Observatory for the Society of Information. Statistics made public yesterday suggest that the proportion of Greek women that use computers, 45 percent, is much lower than the European Union average, which stands at 63 percent. ND firebombing A New Democracy office in the southern Athens suburb of Ano Petralona was firebombed early yesterday. The assailants smashed a window and poured a flammable liquid inside before setting it on fire, authorities said. The fire caused only minor damage and no injuries as it was soon put out by the fire service. Railway sabotage Police in Thessaloniki yesterday were questioning three people believed to have removed pieces of railway track from a line crossing the grounds of military barracks in the district of Ionia. The three suspects were seen leaving the scene in a car without license plates. Earlier this week police in Kalamata were investigating the removal of a 10-centimeter piece of track that had been removed from a local line. The discovery was made after an anonymous caller reportedly demanded 1.5 million euros from local station authorities. Free travel Women will be entitled to free travel on all forms of public transport in Athens and Thessaloniki, as well as on intercity trains and coaches on International Women’s Day tomorrow.