NEWS

In Brief

FYROM VOTE

Elections peaceful, challenging party claims intimidation Presidential elections passed off without major incident in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia as Athens waited to hear the outcome of the poll and assess what impact it might have on relations between the two countries. «The country has organized fair and democratic elections,» said Ilija Dimovski, head of the governing VMRO party’s election staff. But the opposition Social Democrats, the SDSM, said that the elections had been «far from free,» claiming some voters had been intimidated. The party’s candidate, international law professor Ljubomir Frckovski, 51, had been about 10 percentage points behind front-runner 49-year-old Gjorgje Ivanov, supported by VMRO, in opinion polls before the election. ROBBING HISTORY Florakis museum broken into Robbers have broken into the museum dedicated to the late Communist Party leader Harilaos Florakis and stolen valuable personal items, books and letters, it was revealed yesterday. The museum is housed in Florakis’s parental home in the village of Paliozoglopi, near Karditsa, central Greece and the theft was noticed yesterday morning, when police were called in to investigate. Florakis, one of Greece’s most respected politicians, led the Communist Party from 1972 to 1989 after taking part in the resistance and civil war as well as spending a number of years in exile and in prison in Greece. He died in 2005 at the age of 91. TDF 11 awards Danish filmmaker Anders Hasbro Ostergaard’s «Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country» picked up the audience award as best full-length foreign production at the 11th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, which wrapped up yesterday. The audience award for foreign film under 45 minutes went to «Flowers of Rwanda» by Spanish director David Munoz. The honors were presented in a gala ceremony at the Olympion Theater on Saturday. In the Greek section, Apostolos Karakasis took the prize for best short-length documentary for his «National Garden,» while the award for best local production over 45 minutes went to Elli Zerbini’s «The World Naked Bike Ride Project in Thessaloniki.» The FIPRESCI foreign critics jury bestowed their top prize on «Bathers» by Eva Stefani and to American Kimberly Reed’s «Prodigal Sons» from the Greek and foreign selections respectively. Deadly mistake A 42-year-old man was killed in the village of Fre, near Hania on Crete, on Saturday when he attempted to use a rotary tool to cut a metal barrel in half. Police said that neighbors heard an explosion soon after the man began work. It appears that the barrel’s lid flew off and struck him on the head, killing him instantly. The lid was found some 100 meters away. The man was not named. Armed robbery Two armed robbers held up a gas station in Oraiokastro, near Thessaloniki late on Saturday, forcing the owner to hand over 3,000 euros. The robbers drove off with two other men in a car, the victim told police.