NEWS

In Brief

OLYMPIC TAKEOFF

Government confirms deal to sell troubled airline to MIG The government confirmed early on Saturday that a deal has been struck to sell Olympic Airlines to the investment-holding company Marfin Investment Group (MIG) for a total of 177.2 million euros. Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis announced that last-minute bids from Aegean Airlines and US-based Chrysler Aviation had been turned down. He added that the deal still has to be approved by the European Union. MIG has offered 45.7 million for Olympic’s flight operations and 16.7 million for its technical base. Hatzidakis said negotiations with MIG and Swissport for the sale of Olympic’s ground-handling services for 44.8 million euros would take another week. ARSON ATTACKS Three simultaneous strikes Three arson attacks took place at virtually the same time in Athens early yesterday. In the most destructive attack, assailants set fire to a Sprider clothing store in the district of Dafni at 12.10 a.m. A major presence from the fire service was needed to put out the blaze, which raged through the two-story building. A few minutes later, the office of the Greek Manpower Employment Organization (OAED) in Kallithea was also set on fire. Firefighters put out the blaze before any serious damage was done. Arsonists also caused minor damage to the offices of the Labor Inspectorate in the western district of Aghioi Anargyroi. Nobody was injured in any of the incidents. Teenage trial Two 18-year-old high-school students are due to go on trial in Piraeus today in connection with their alleged involvement in disturbances in the area during the unrest in December. The trial has met with the opposition of the local prefect, Yiannis Michas, and the Piraeus Bar Association, who claim that the teenagers are being made scapegoats and that the proper legal procedures have not been followed. Aegaleo muggers Police in Aegaleo, western Athens, yesterday arrested two men, aged 21 and 22, who are suspected of being part in a gang that had recently been mugging Pakistanis. Officers said that they believe another eight suspects were involved in at least six attacks that led to victims having their money and mobile phones stolen. Camp fire A fire at the former army camp known as Pavlos Melas, in Thessaloniki, was brought under control yesterday afternoon before any widespread damage was done. The fire began in an abandoned storage room that contained wood and old mattresses. Wanted man A 52-year-old man, who was the subject of an arrest warrant for dealing drugs, was caught near Kilkis in northern Greece yesterday. Police found 130 bullets and a gun at one of the suspect’s houses. They also found a sawed-off shotgun, 57 shells, a stiletto knife, five German number plates and police warning light at the man’s other residence. The suspect was not named.