NEWS

In Brief

NAME TALKS

Athens invites Nimetz, FYROM wants bilateral discussion Greece has extended an invitation to United Nations mediator Matthew Nimetz to visit Athens in the near future, it emerged yesterday. Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas spoke to Nimetz on the telephone on Sunday to propose talks on Greece’s name dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Meanwhile, reports in FYROM suggested that the Foreign Ministry there has requested bilateral talks between Skopje and Athens. FYROM has suggested that such a discussion could take place on the sidelines of an international conference on Afghanistan which is due to be held in London on Thursday. CROSSING DEATHS Two killed as train smashes car Two people were killed and another two injured yesterday when a train collided with a car on a level crossing near the town of Alexandreia in Imathia, northern Greece, yesterday. Authorities said nobody on board the train, which was traveling between Thessaloniki and Florina, was hurt. The identity of the four people in the car was not revealed following the accident, which occurred at an unguarded level crossing. Family tragedy An ethnic Greek from the former Soviet Union yesterday shot his wife in the stomach, causing her serious injuries, before using the same gun to kill himself at their home in Aghia Varvara, western Attica. Neighbors said they heard the shots following an argument. The woman was in a critical condition in hospital yesterday while the couple’s child, who witnessed the shootings, was put under state protection. Explosion A homemade explosive device caused minor damage when it detonated outside the offices of AEK soccer club in Aghioi Anargyroi, a northwestern suburb of Athens, at around 5 a.m. yesterday. The device, comprising three gas canisters, damaged the facades of the offices and of an adjacent bakery. Cervical cancer Doctors yesterday expressed serious concern about a significant drop in the rate of women getting a cervical cancer vaccine in the first six months of 2009. According to medics attending a seminar in Thessaloniki, only 17 percent of the target population for the vaccine in Greece has had the jab. The Health Ministry first heralded a scheme to provide the vaccine to tens of thousands of girls aged 12 to 13 in 2007. Missing youth A coast guard vessel and a Super Puma helicopter yesterday were scouring the coast of Alimos, southeast of Athens, for a Romanian youth missing since the morning after trying to mug a beach guard. Police were called to the spot at around 2 a.m. yesterday after the guard reported being mugged by the Romanian and two Albanians. The Albanians, aged 16 and 17, were caught. But the Romanian, who ran into the sea to flee police, was still missing late yesterday. Armed holdups Police reported three armed raids in Thessaloniki yesterday. In the first incident, two gunmen burst into a restaurant and forced two employees to hand over 4,000 euros. The second incident was the latest in a series of local taxi driver muggings. The thief netted 600 euros after threatening a cabbie. The third raid targeted a branch of Aspis Bank.