NEWS

In Brief

Arson attacks

Simultaneous hits on banks, cars in Athens, Thessaloniki Arsonists staged coordinated attacks on bank branches and parked cars in central Athens and Thessaloniki early yesterday, causing widespread damage but no injuries. In Athens, unidentified vandals doused a truck in Neos Cosmos with fuel before setting it alight. In Patissia, gas canister bombs were used to damage a local bank branch. Cars were also torched in Petralona and Aspropyrgos and a bank targeted in Ilion. In Thessaloniki, arsonists torched cars in four districts. School psychologists? Minister reacts to shooting Education Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos said yesterday that his ministry’s long-term plans envisaged the appointment of a psychiatrist for every school in the country to ensure that fewer children develop the psychological problems of a 19-year-old who last Friday opened fire at a vocational training college. Spiliotopoulos noted that the incident had not resulted in multiple deaths, as similar incidents have in other countries, and stressed that «we should see the glass as half full.» Hospital debts The Health Ministry yesterday sent a circular to all the country’s state hospitals, calling for the payment of outstanding debts to medical suppliers within the next two months. The circular is said to have been approved by the Economy Ministry. State hospitals are believed to be more than 2 billion euros in debt. Fatal plunge Police in Mandra, western Attica, were seeking yesterday to establish the circumstances under which an 8-year-old boy fell into a ditch some 50 meters away from his home on Sunday. It is thought that the boy fell into the ditch, which belongs to a local quarrying firm, while playing with a dog from the neighborhood. The boy’s relatives complain that there was no fencing around the ditch. Turkish violations Four Turkish jets violated Greek air space above the Aegean islands of Farmakonisi and Agathonisi yesterday, Defense Ministry officials said. The jets were chased off by Greek fighter planes, they added. Bomb hoax An anonymous telephone call warning that a bomb had been planted on an intercity train en route to Athens from the northeastern port of Alexandroupolis late on Sunday turned out to be a hoax. Following the call, police in Serres stopped the train, which was carrying 120 passengers, and searched the carriages with the help of sniffer dogs but no suspect devices were found. University raid Unidentified robbers netted 113,000 euros following a raid on the premises of the University of Thessaly in the central port of Volos just after midnight on Sunday. According to police, the robbers forced open one of the campus’s main entrances, entered the supplies office, broke open the safe and bagged the cash. Private security guards on duty did not notice anything.