NEWS

In Brief

Party time

Former ministers’ new centrist alliance to be unveiled today A new political, centrist party founded by former ministers Stefanos Manos and Vassilis Kontoyiannopoulos, who have in the past served as MPs for both New Democracy and PASOK, is due to be unveiled officially today. Manos and Kontoyiannopoulos have a wealth of experience, having served in several government posts and being among the few Greek politicians to have crossed the divide between the two parties. Businessman and winemaker Yiannis Boutaris, who has run for mayor in Thessaloniki, is also lending his weight to the party, which will be called Drasis. Mevgal trial Suspects rebuff graft charges Former Competition Commission official Panayiotis Adamopoulos and his alleged accomplices, merchant Constantinos Constantinidis and customs official Panayiotis Anagnostopoulos, denied charges of blackmail and accepting bribes yesterday in the ongoing Mevgal trial. The three suspects were remanded in custody in September 2006 after being accused of colluding with two other men to secure a 2.5-million-euro bribe from the Mevgal dairy firm so the watchdog would not fine the company. Turkish exercise Armed forces were on standby yesterday as a Turkish military exercise in the Aegean, involving US, British, Dutch and Belgian forces, got under way. According to sources, the plan of the exercise – code-named Egemon – presents the islands of the eastern Aegean as demilitarized and suggests that Ankara is responsible for search and rescue operations across half of the Aegean. Fatal plunge Rescue workers yesterday recovered the body of a motorist from a car which had fallen into the sea at the main port of Thessaloniki. The car plunged into the sea early yesterday, authorities said without giving any details. Bank heist Three armed robbers made off with an unspecified sum yesterday after smashing the facade of a branch of National Bank in Thessaloniki’s Polichni district. The assailants caused no injuries during the raid which took place at 3 p.m. just after the bank had closed. Mine removed An old mine, dating to World War II, was yesterday recovered from the seabed off the northeastern port of Alexandropoulis. The mine, which has a diameter of 50 centimeters, was found by a machine being used to increase the depth of the port. Authorities said navy frogmen would scour the seabed for more mines. Migrants intercepted Police in Igoumenitsa, northwestern Greece, yesterday detained a taxi driver alleged to have smuggled two illegal immigrants into the country from Albania. Officers seized his cab and 1,650 euros. Tractor death A 52-year-old farmer was crushed to death by his tractor yesterday at a farm near Karditsa in central Greece. Police said the victim had stepped down from the tractor without turning off the engine and the vehicle ran him over.