NEWS

In Brief

Zico out

Olympiakos fires Brazilian coach after poor showing Soccer champion Olympiakos has fired its Brazilian coach Zico after he spent just four months on the job. The Reds have slipped seven points behind leaders Panathinaikos in the race for the Super League title and were dumped out of the Greek Cup by second-division club Panserraikos during Zico’s stint in charge. The club issued a brief statement announcing the Brazilian’s departure and that he would be replaced by Bozidar Bandovic and Andreas Niniadis, who worked as scouts for the Piraeus club but were also caretaker managers before Zico arrived last September. Olympiakos chairman Sokratis Kokkalis took the decision to sack Zico after his side drew 0-0 at newly promoted Kavala on Sunday, which was the latest in a series of disappointing league results for the normally dominant Reds. Tempe roadworks Aim to open section by April Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Dimitris Reppas said yesterday that a key section of the Athens-Thessaloniki national road in the Vale of Tempe, in central Greece, closed following a fatal rockfall on December 18, should reopen to traffic by early April if work gets under way immediately. The ministry is waiting to receive a feasibility study from the company entrusted with carrying out the project. Fraudster convicted A court yesterday passed down a five-year jail sentence to a 38-year-old woman after finding her guilty of embezzling 300,000 euros from her uncle by claiming that she had been cursed and needed the cash in order to lift the spell. The court heard that the woman convinced the 62-year-old businessman to give her the money after claiming that his grandchildren would be cursed too if he did not. Cretan body Rescue workers on Crete yesterday recovered the body of a missing 40-year-old man in the Geropotamos River in the island’s prefecture of Rethymno. The man had been reported missing on Sunday. His body was found entangled in the roots of a tree at the river’s estuary on the southern coast of the prefecture. Damanaki test Ruling PASOK Deputy Maria Damanaki, the European Union’s commissioner-designate for fisheries, yesterday addressed a special hearing of Euro MPs in Strasbourg on the challenges of her portfolio which reportedly was well received. If Damanaki’s nomination is approved by the European Parliament, the 57-year-old would then take over from Maltese Joe Borg, who has held the post for the past five years, and become Greece’s new representative in Brussels, replacing Stavros Dimas who has served as environment commissioner since 2004. Robber caught Police in Thessaloniki yesterday detained a 39-year-old man who has allegedly admitted to the fatal shooting of a 53-year-old supermarket owner in the city’s Sykeon district on December 10. According to police, the 39-year-old admitted to shooting the 53-year-old at almost point-blank range when the latter refused to hand over the store’s takings. Officers believe the suspect might be behind other armed raids.