NEWS

In Brief

ARSON SPREE

Banks, asset management company attacked in Athens A group of arsonists used petrol bombs in arson attacks on a mobile phone services firm and the branch of an asset management company in the Athens district of Nea Ionia shortly after midnight on Tuesday. The attacks caused serious damage but no injuries, according to police. Meanwhile, unidentified assailants used a gas canister bomb to damage the facade of a branch of Proton Bank in Ilioupolis, southeastern Athens. At around dawn yesterday another improvised explosive device, made from gas canisters, detonated outside a branch of Piraeus Bank in Kypseli, causing minor damage. FERRY ACCIDENT Two injured at Santorini port Two people were slightly injured on Tuesday night when a high-speed ferry struck a pier in the main port of Santorini amid high winds. A passenger and the first mate of the Aiolos Kenteris 2 sustained minor injuries in the accident. The remaining 19 passengers and 26 crew members were unhurt, according to the Merchant Marine Ministry, which said the ship would remain moored at the pier until high winds fall and a proper inspection can be carried out. Agathonisi protest Residents of the tiny Aegean island of Agathonisi kept their children at home yesterday, sabotaging the annual Independence Day parade in a symbolic protest aimed at highlighting the island’s acute problem with illegal immigrants. The island, whose permanent population numbers fewer than 150, has been engulfed with would-be migrants over the past few months. Asopos debate The Asopos River in central Greece, which tests have shown to contain significant traces of hexavalent chromium, a potentially carcinogenic chemical, is to be the focus of a debate at the European Parliament on April 15, sources revealed yesterday. The discussion, organized by the European Green Party, is to be addressed by European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas. Next Thursday, April 2, a delegation from Greece’s environment committee is to visit the industrial zone at Oinofyta which is believed to have caused most of the pollution in the Asopos. Neighbor’s rage A 60-year-old man from Rhodes was arrested and charged on Tuesday after two Albanian laborers that had been working near his house claimed that he had opened fire on them. The two laborers told police that the 60-year-old, who was not named, went to the neighboring house where they were working, threatened them and then shot at them three times with a hunting rifle. Neither of the men was injured. The gunman was charged with attempted murder and illegal use of a weapon. It was not clear what caused his alleged violent outburst. Batatoudis sentenced An appeals court in Thessaloniki has sentenced businessman and former president of PAOK soccer club Giorgos Batatoudis to 10 years in prison for embezzlement, in a ruling made public yesterday. Batatoudis was found guilty of selling the TV rights to PAOK’s games to a company he owned for about a third of the market value. His lawyer argued that Batatoudis invested a substantial amount of money in the Thessaloniki club.