NEWS

In Brief

TAKING TOLL

New posts on Athens-Lamia road but maintenance needed It was revealed yesterday that the company that won the contract to manage a 175-kilometer stretch of the Athens-Lamia national highway intends to build nine new toll stations between Metamorfosi in northern Athens and Skarfeia in central Greece, but has also been told to improve the quality of the highway by August or face a heavy fine. Nea Odos will be managing the stretch of road for the next 32 years and wants to raise revenues by creating new toll posts where drivers will be charged according to the distance they have traveled rather than a flat fee. TEENAGER STABBED Muggers on bike injure girl A 15-year-old high school student was stabbed by muggers in the southern Athens suburb of Aghios Dimitrios at 2.40 p.m. yesterday. The two muggers were on a motorcycle and attempted to grab a bag from one of the teenager’s classmates but she managed to get away. The muggers then attacked the 15-year-old, stabbing her in the arm and stomach before taking her purse. The girl was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was treated for non-life threatening injuries. Simitis return? It was revealed yesterday that PASOK leader George Papandreou is due to meet former Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Thursday as speculation mounts that he will extend an olive branch to the former party chief and invite him to rejoin the Socialists. Simitis currently sits in Parliament as an independent after being ousted by Papandreou. Emergency landing An easyJet flight from Thessaloniki to London had to make an emergency landing at Macedonia Airport just before 1 p.m. after striking a flock of birds on takeoff. The impact caused engine problems and the captain of flight 5093 decided to return immediately to the airport. None of the 139 passengers or the six crew members on board was injured. Smash and grab Robbers made off with the safe from a supermarket in the northern Athens suburb of Menidi early yesterday after driving a truck into the store. The assailants then used sledgehammers to break down the door to the manager’s office at the Veropoulos supermarket on Ethinkis Antistaseos Street before hoisting the safe onto their truck. It was not immediately known how much cash was in the safe. Soccer clashes The eight people arrested during disturbances before and after the PAOK-Olympiakos soccer game in Thessaloniki on Sunday night are due to appear in court on Thursday, a prosecutor has decided. The eight have been accused of taking part in the rioting that saw fans clash with police and damage property. Migrants detained Coast guard officers yesterday picked up 31 migrants from a rocky outcrop off the island of Oinousses in the northern Aegean, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The illegal immigrants said they had sailed to Greece from Turkey in a rubber dinghy. More than 370 migrants and 11 suspected human traffickers were detained in February, according to figures made public yesterday.