NEWS

In Brief

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Court rejects appeal by head of new party seeking TV airtime The Council of State yesterday rejected as not being in the best public interest an appeal by the head of the new centrist party Drasi against a decision by Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos that prevents parties that are not represented in Parliament from being able to run TV ad campaigns in the runup to the European parliamentary elections. Greece’s highest administrative court ruled that it was not in the public’s interest to overturn the minister’s decision, as a number of the parliamentary parties have already used the TV time that they have been allocated for political ads. Fatal debts? Cafe owner shoots himself A cafe owner from the western Athens suburb of Aghia Varvara was found dead in his establishment yesterday after apparently committing suicide. Police said that the 55-year-old, who was not named, had probably shot himself the previous night. Officers indicated that the businessmen had run up some large debts. If this is confirmed, he will be the fourth person in Greece this month known to have committed suicide due to financial problems, police said. Pregnancy fine Greece’s Ombudsman yesterday imposed a 5,000-euro fine on a private firm alleged to have dismissed a female employee from one of its retail stores a few months after she announced her pregnancy. The Ombudsman cited Greek law, which dictates that a pregnant employee cannot be dismissed during the pregnancy and up to a year after the child’s birth, as well as European law which describes the sacking of a pregnant employee as sexual discrimination. The firm in question allegedly claimed to have had problems with the employee in question. Children appeal The lawyer representing two Greek boys convicted of killing 11-year-old Georgian schoolboy Alex Meshivili in the northern town of Veria in February 2006, with the help another three children, yesterday asked a Thessaloniki prosecutor to revoke the ruling issued by a juvenile court in February. The lawyer claims that the decision is unfair as it was based on the claims of one of the other three children. Forest fire A large fire that broke out in an inaccessible area of forestland in Grevena, northern Greece, on Tuesday evening had been almost completely extinguished by yesterday afternoon, the local fire service said. The blaze was caused by a bolt of lightning. Camp vandalized Unidentified vandals caused serious damage to a children’s summer camp, run by the Orthodox Church, in the Cretan prefecture of Hania, after raiding the premises late on Tuesday evening. The intruders spray-painted the walls of the camp, vandalized furniture and stole some children’s toys. Clean beaches Greece retained its second place to Spain in an international ranking of Europe’s cleanest beaches, although five beaches lost their «blue flags.» According to the Denmark-based Foundation for Environmental Education, a nongovernmental group which operates the Blue Flag scheme, Greece has 425 prime beaches, down from 430 last year.