NEWS

In Brief

IMMIGRANT BEATING

UNHCR expresses concern about attack at Lesvos center The UN’s refugee agency in Greece issued a statement yesterday expressing its «great concern» about allegations that police officers beat several migrants, including a 17-year-old, at the Pagani reception center on Lesvos on Thursday. The UNHCR said that the teenager was taken to the hospital where it was established that he had bruises on his head, back, midriff and arms. The incident appears to have happened after some of the detainees protested conditions following a visit by Deputy Citizens’ Protection Minister Spyros Vougias. UNHCR said that some 700 people are being held in Pagani in conditions it described as «an insult to all meanings of human decency.» The Greek branch of the UN agency has asked for the center to be shut down. ‘SEMI-OPEN’ SPACES Court says no to legalization The Council of State has ruled that any effort by owners to legalize illegally altered parts of their homes (known as «imiypaithrioi» or «semi-open» in Greek) is unconstitutional. Sources said on Saturday that Greece’s highest administrative court announced that legalizing these areas, which have been closed off and turned into rooms proper following the creation of a legal loophole in 1983, would «worsen citizens’ quality of life» and would go against town planning. The government announced last week that it would freeze for six months a law passed by New Democracy that allowed homeowners to pay a penalty to put these «semi-open» spaces in order, rather than legalize them fully. PASOK said it would review the law over the next six months. Talat to Turkey Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat will be in Ankara on October 29 to 30 to discuss the latest developments in the Cyprus reunification talks, according to reports yesterday. Talat is due to meet with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Lover murdered A 38-year-old man was arrested in Trikala, central Greece, yesterday on suspicion of shooting dead his 34-year-old girlfriend. According to police, witnesses said that the couple had been arguing recently and that the suspect, an Albanian national, shot the woman, who was from Serbia, following a row in their car. PASOK secretary Xanthi MP Sokratis Xynidis was voted the new PASOK secretary late on Friday. The 46-year-old, who received 181 of the 370 votes, succeeds Yiannis Ragousis, who is now interior minister. Deadly crash One person was killed and another five injured early yesterday when a car veered off course on the Thessaloniki-Edessa national road and struck two vehicles. The 52-year-old driver of the car that caused the accident was killed. His 37-year-old passenger was seriously injured. Farmakonisi patrol Coast guard officers detained 22 undocumented immigrants who were picked up a by a patrol vessel near the tiny Dodecanese island of Farmakonisi on Saturday. The immigrants were in a small dinghy and said they had sailed into Greek waters from Turkey. Their nationalities were not made public.