NEWS

In Brief

LESVOS MIGRANTS

Ombudsman seeks better conditions for children The Children’s Ombudsman, Giorgos Moschos, yesterday expressed concern about the conditions in which dozens of unaccompanied minors and mothers with small infants are living in a migrant detention center on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos. Moschos, who visited two facilities on the island earlier this week, said that conditions at the detention center in Pagani were «unacceptable» due to overcrowding and inadequate access to toilets and an open-air exercise area. However, the ombudsman praised the «decent efforts» being made at another facility on the island to which dozens of unaccompanied minors were transferred when the Pagani center became excessively overcrowded earlier this week. SWINE FLU Man, 48, is 11th serious case A 48-year-old man was hospitalized in Athens yesterday after testing positive for the H1N1 virus, the Health Ministry said. The man, who was admitted to the hospital with serious respiratory problems, is the 11th serious case of swine flu to be reported in Greece. Omonia fire Two firemen were injured early yesterday in their efforts to extinguish a large fire that broke out in a three-story building in central Omonia. The fire workers were part of a rescue effort involving 30 men and 10 fire engines that rescued three residents from the block on the corner of Aeolou and Miltiadou streets. The residents, believed to be migrants, were not hurt. It was unclear what started the blaze. Cyprus talks Authorities in Nicosia said yesterday that Turkey must open its ports to Greek Cypriots without setting conditions, rejecting Ankara’s stance that it would do so only if the European Union established trade links with the Turkish Cypriots. The EU has told candidate state Turkey that it must lift its blockade on Greek-Cypriot ship and air traffic and is due to assess Turkish compliance later this year. «Unfortunately, Turkey has not taken even one step to meet its obligations,» said government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou. Human traffickers Police have arrested five people and are seeking four more, all believed to be members of a gang who had kept nine illegal immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh in an underground garage in Menidi, northern Athens, for five months. The gang members are alleged to have systematically beaten and sexually assaulted the immigrants and threatened to kill them if their relatives did not pay amounts ranging from 2,000 to 4,000 euros. Those arrested were four Greeks – two men and two women and a 28-year-old Iraqi man. Online scam The electronic crime squad is investigating a scam in which thousands of unsuspecting people received a forged message, ostensibly from the Economy and Finance Ministry, asking for personal data, such as their cash card PIN numbers. Bank robbery Two masked men armed with pistols robbed a branch of ATEbank in Korydallos, west of Athens, yesterday, and made off with an undisclosed amount of money. There were no injuries.