NEWS

In Brief

PUTIN CHAT

Karamanlis, Russian PM speak about energy over the phone Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin had a 20-minute telephone conversation yesterday. The two leaders, who had been due to meet on Friday in Bulgaria on the sidelines of a natural gas conference until Putin canceled his visit, mainly discussed energy issues. Karamanlis expressed interest in continuing cooperation between the two countries in the energy sector. The two men agreed that the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline was on schedule. ARMED HEIST Robbery at journalists’ fund Two armed robbers yesterday morning raided the premises of the health insurance fund for Athens journalists (EDOEAP) in the city center, making off with some 20,000 euros after injuring a security guard. The guard sustained minor injuries after being struck on the head with the butt of a gun. One robber stood guard outside while the other entered the building and fired a warning shot once above his head before ordering clerks on the ground floor to hand over any available cash. The pair made off on a motorcycle. Ferry disruptions Passengers scheduled to travel by ferry on the Blue Star Naxos or the Blue Star Ithaki this morning will face disruptions due to a seamen’s strike. It was unclear yesterday whether the action would result in any of the planned routes being canceled. Passengers have been advised to contact Blue Star for further details. Car bomb Police arrested two men on Monday in the Athens neighborhood of Dafni after stopping a car in which they found a homemade bomb. During a check, officers found the device, which consisted of a propane gas cylinder, a detonator and a slow-burning fuse. One of the suspects, a 30-year-old from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, had previously been expelled from Greece for drug offenses. The other suspect, a 29-year-old Greek, had been linked to extortion cases. Athens shooting A young Afghan man was in the hospital yesterday after being shot in the chest by a compatriot in the central Athens district of Aghios Panteleimonas. According to witnesses, the shooting occurred following an argument. The suspect was still at large late last night. Doctors said the shooting victim was out of danger. Thessaloniki raids Unidentified robbers netted 500 euros and three prescription medicines from a pharmacy in Thessaloniki’s Diavata district late on Monday without causing any injuries. A few hours later, a lone assailant threatened a street kiosk owner with a knife, forcing him to hand over 200 euros. The suspect was spotted by police in a nearby patrol car and arrested. Prefects’ protest Prefectural offices around the country will be closed today as local authorities protest new legislation abolishing certain fees and charges that would result in them losing some 110 million euros in revenues. The authorities have called for the revocation of the law, noting that losses would be restricted to 40 million euros if action is taken within the next four months.