In Brief

Pollution penalties

Gov’t slaps PPC, producers with 1.7 mln euros in fines The Environment and Public Works Ministry yesterday imposed a total of 1.7 million euros in fines on two power plants and and two lignite mines operated by the Public Power Corporation (PPC) and on 11 manufacturers whose toxic waste is believed to have contributed to polluting the Asopos River in central Greece. The largest single fines were imposed on the lignite mines – 300,000 euros for the PPC’s mine in Ptolemaida and 150,000 euros for a mine at Mavropigi, both near the northern city of Kozani. Aegean tensions Turkish jets violate air space The Foreign Ministry in Athens yesterday instructed the Greek Embassy in Ankara to lodge an official complaint with Turkish authorities after Turkish fighter jets violated Greek air space in the Aegean in the morning and in the afternoon, the latest in a series of transgressions. Shortly before 11 a.m. a group of Turkish F16s violated Greek air space south of Samos before flying at a low altitude over the islets of Farmakonisi and Agathonisi. They were chased off by Greek fighter jets. But shortly after 4.20 p.m. a fresh formation of Turkish jets violated Greek air space north of Chios before flying over Agathonisi. Police blunder The police force yesterday suspended two officers following the escape of a detainee from a police detention center in the southern Athens suburb of Moschato. The 22-year-old Georgian national, held on charges of theft, forgery and illegal entry into the country, reportedly escaped through the building’s light shaft. After complaining that he felt sick, the detainee was taken to a temporary detention area but was not handcuffed, according to sources. Swine flu Health Ministry officials said another 32 cases of swine flu had been detected in Greece yesterday, pushing the total up to 290. Of these new cases, at least 17 have arrived in Greece recently from abroad. Explosive legacy Police bomb disposal experts were summoned yesterday to remove an explosive device, believed to date to World War Two, from a basement in Piraeus. The bomb was discovered during the course of repairs to the basement. There were no injuries. Silence of the lambs Police from Hania yesterday were seeking the perpetrators behind the slaughter of 152 sheep from a farm near the Therisos Gorge on Sunday. The local mayor condemned the attack, believed to be an act of revenge, but stressed that it was an «isolated incident» in an otherwise law-abiding municipality. Fire risk The General Secretariat for Civil Protection yesterday called on local authorities on much of Crete and several islands in the Dodecanese to be on standby today as the risk of forest fires breaking out is expected to be heightened by strong winds and dry conditions. Citizens in these areas have been asked to avoid burning dry branches and using equipment producing sparks that could ignite fires.