NEWS

In Brief

Swine flu

Minister heralds campaign, British singer in hospital Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said on Saturday that checks had been intensified at the country’s land borders and airports to ensure that suspected cases of swine flu are detected. Speaking after an emergency meeting with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, attended also by Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Education Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos, Avramopoulos said that his ministry would soon launch an awareness campaign in schools about the risks of swine flu which has killed dozens worldwide. Meanwhile the BBC reported that a British pop star of Greek origin, Tulisa Contostavlos of N-Dubz, is in an Athens hospital being tested for swine flu after falling ill on a flight to Greece. No details about her symptoms were revealed. Kuneva petition Amnesty lobbies for unionist Amnesty International has collected 22,000 signatures for a petition calling for a thorough police investigation into the circumstances of an acid attack on the leader of the Attica cleaners’ union, Constantina Kuneva, last December. Protesters are also pressing for compensation for Kuneva, who has been disfigured and suffered severe damage to internal organs because of the attack, believed to have been carried out by members of an organized ring objecting to her unionist activities. The petition is to be submitted to Alternate Interior Minister Christos Markoyiannakis tomorrow. Bomb scare A passenger ferry due to leave Piraeus yesterday was delayed by 40 minutes after an anonymous caller telephoned authorities to warn that a bomb had been placed on the vessel. Police and sniffer dogs were called in but no suspect device was found. Bilderberg Club The Bilderberg Club, an elite international group of politicians and other individuals of influence that convenes once a year, is to meet in Athens in mid-May, Kathimerini has learned. Guests invited to this year’s gathering, which usually comprises 130 influential figures from around the world, include Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou and Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis. The content of the discussions conducted during the gathering remains private. Murder probe Police yesterday were questioning a 20-year-old foreign woman and a 28-year-old man who have been linked to the fatal stabbing of a 23-year-old in Katerini, near Thessaloniki, on Friday. The woman is alleged to have used a knife to stab the victim in the 28-year-old’s car following an argument. The 23-year-old was subsequently dropped off outside the entrance to a local hospital. He died a few hours later due to heavy loss of blood from a chest wound. The nature of the dispute that prompted the attack was yesterday unclear. ATM lifted Police in Thessaloniki yesterday were seeking the robbers who hacked a cash machine out of the facade of a building housing a supermarket on the country road between the northern city and Oraiokastro. It was unclear how much cash the ATM contained.