NEWS

In Brief

WEDDING SHOOTING

Guest turns himself in, is charged with attempted murder A 28-year-old man is to defend himself before an investigating magistrate today after being charged with the attempted murder with possible premeditation and malice of a man who has been in critical condition since being shot in the head at a Cretan wedding party on the Nasjudjik estate near Spata, eastern Attica, early on Monday. Lefteris Vrouvakis, who is also charged with illegal possession of a firearm, handed himself in to police late on Wednesday, claiming he accidentally shot his friend Charidimos Manarolis, 24, after being pushed while firing celebratory shots into the air – a customary but illegal tradition at Cretan weddings. PRISONERS PROTEST Diavata inmates on hunger strike, demanding less cramped conditions Inmates of Diavata jail near Thessaloniki stayed away from the mess hall yesterday for the second day of a hunger strike in protest at inadequate prison conditions. The hot weather was apparently the final straw for the inhabitants of one of Greece’s most overpopulated prisons who are demanding the decongestion of their living space. The Diavata jail, built to house 260 inmates, currently accommodates around 600. On Monday, 160 illegal immigrants rioted and broke out of a dentention center in the northeastern town of Komotini, complaining of unbearable heat. They were recaptured. IKA Doctors strike, march Social Security Foundation (IKA) clinics are operating on emergency staff today, as IKA doctors stage the last in a series of seven 24-hour strikes this month. Protesters are due to stage a rally at 10.30 a.m. today at Kaningos Square in central Athens. They have warned of yet more strike action next month if their demands – which include permanency for 5,500 colleagues on short-term contracts – are not met. Electricity rates Electricity rates will increase by 3 percent from next Monday, the president of the Energy Regulatory Board (RAE) said yesterday. Church on TV The Church of Greece’s Holy Synod decided yesterday to send a formal complaint to the National Broadcasting Council (ESR) for the allegedly unfavorable depiction of clerics on television – particularly their alleged involvement in sex scandals. The church also wants clerics to be given seats on the regulator’s board. The letter will be forwarded to government spokesman Christos Protopappas. The Holy Synod also decided yesterday to give Bishop Pandeleimon of Attica a «tacit deadline» of one month to appeal against charges of alleged homosexuality lodged against him by his predecessor, Nikodimos. Waters extended Turkish-Cypriot authorities yesterday put into force a law, recognized only by them and Turkey, which extends the national waters of the island’s occupied north from three to 12 nautical miles. Unarmed robbery An unarmed man walked out of an Athens bank with 500 euros yesterday after waiting his turn to at the teller whom he then showed a piece of paper with the words (in English): «This is a robbery, do not activate the alarm, give me the money.» The teller of the bank, in the northeastern suburb of Holargos, promptly handed over the cash in an envelope to the silent robber, witnesses said. Russian firefighters A team of 18 Russian pilots and engineers are to bolster the efforts of Greek fire-fighting teams this summer. They will use two KA-32 helicopters capable of carrying up to five tons of water per trip, reports said yesterday. The team and helicopters, sent to Greece by the Russian firm Vladivostok Avia, have already participated in operations near the mountainous areas of Alexandroupolis and Larissa. Simitis to Ukraine Prime Minister Costas Simitis is to arrive in the Ukrainian capital Kiev next Tuesday for a two-day visit, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday.