NEWS

In Brief

ND roles

Samaras to handle economy, Avramopoulos foreign affairs The recently elected leader of conservative New Democracy, Antonis Samaras, yesterday announced that he would undertake the job of shadow minister of the economy, in view of the critical state of the country’s finances. The ND leader added that veteran ND cadre Dimitris Avramopoulos, who had backed Samaras’s candidacy as party leader after dropping out of the race himself, would be entrusted with the foreign affairs portfolio. The refusal by Dora Bakoyannis, Samaras’s key rival in the race for the presidency, to accept the ND leader’s offer of the education and culture portfolio was seen as a snub and is expected to cause some tension within the party. Cyprus president Service held despite tomb raid Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos II on Saturday led a memorial service to mark the first anniversary of the death of Cyprus’s former president Tassos Papadopoulos, a day after thieves broke into the late leader’s grave and stole his remains. Police in Nicosia said yesterday that they had no leads regarding the perpetrators of the bizarre crime nor their possible motive. Sources said that footprints discovered near the grave site might help the investigation. Speaking after the service on Saturday, the archbishop said: «Those who committed this folly have achieved nothing. Tassos has not disappeared. He is still with us.» Flu deaths Health authorities over the weekend reported the deaths of another three patients with swine flu, bringing the total number of fatalities in Greece to 47. One of the latest victims was a 73-year-old man with heart problems, while the other two victims – a 19-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman – had not suffered from any underlying ailments. A program for the inoculation of citizens with mobility problems at their homes is to begin today. Bloody holdup The owner of a convenience store in Aspropyrgos, northwestern Attica, was in hospital in critical condition yesterday after being shot in the stomach during a raid on his store by two armed assailants late in the evening. One of the two robbers shot the store owner after he refused to hand over his takings. As the pair were fleeing on a motorcycle, they were spotted by police in a patrol car which chased them. A shootout ensued before the assailants slipped on the wet road and fled on foot. Police had not found the perpetrators by late last night. Burglars thwarted A 74-year-old man was recovering from a blow to the head and shock on Saturday after three burglars broke into his home in Epanomi, south of Thessaloniki. The man told the police that one of the intruders fired a gun in the air as a warning on spotting him emerging from the bedroom, while a second robber hit him on the head with his gun gun. The three men fled, taking only a cellphone, the victim said. Fugitive nabbed A 40-year-old escaped convict accused of sexually assaulting two women in Thessaloniki following his escape from custody was in hospital yesterday after falling off a motorcycle while being chased by police. The man had been at large since May, when he violated 3-day furlough.