NEWS

In Brief

EXARCHIA ARSON

Police question 45 people after four vehicles are torched Police took in 45 people for questioning after a predawn arson attack on four parked cars in the central Athens neighborhood of Exarchia yesterday. The attack occurred at about 1 a.m. at the corner of Tsamadou and Tositsa streets. Firefighters soon put out the blaze. The suspects were released several hours later. No arrests were made. TAX STRIKE Officials off the job for two days Tax officials are staging a 48-hour strike starting today in protest at the cuts to their salaries that the government is imposing as part of its efforts to reduce public spending. They will also be demanding the hiring of more personnel. Judicial officials are also staging a three-hour work stoppage today. Officer assault Five people appeared before a prosecutor in Athens on Saturday charged with disturbing the peace and attacking a police officer during the protests a day earlier against the government’s austerity measures. The policeman had his helmet removed and was hit over the head with a piece of marble during the skirmishes on Friday. Swift return An Aegean Airlines flight that took off from Thessaloniki’s Macedonia Airport for Athens yesterday afternoon had to make an immediate landing after developing engine problems. The pilot made a request for an emergency landing just four minutes after taking off. The Airbus 320, which was carrying 146 passengers, landed at the airport safely. Fatal accidents One person was killed and another three injured in a car crash on Syngrou Avenue in southern Athens early yesterday. The accident happened at about 6 a.m. when a car collided with a taxi as the two vehicles were traveling toward Piraeus. The 64-year-old taxi driver was killed and the three people in the car, which hit a crash barrier after striking the cab, were injured. Meanwhile, three people were killed and one injured when two cars crashed on the national road between Patra and Pyrgos in the Peloponnese. Hidden immigrants A 51-year-old Romanian truck driver was arrested at the Promachonas border crossing on Saturday night after 26 illegal immigrants were found hiding in cardboard boxes in his vehicle. Another 21 illegal immigrants were also found hiding in a truck that was stopped in the agricultural area of Tychero in northeastern Greece on Saturday. Two suspected traffickers were arrested. Taking a toll The private company responsible for managing a section of the Athens-Thessaloniki national road in central Greece, Aegean Motorway, said that charges at two of its toll stations would be going up as of today. Drivers at the Pelasgia and Makrohori booths will have to pay 2.30 euros, while motorcycles will be charged 1.60. Matricide A 36-year-old man suspected of murdering his 80-year-old mother at her home in the village of Anakriti, near Serres in northern Greece, has been remanded in custody, sources said on Saturday. The suspect allegedly beat his mother to death with a copper pipe after she refused to hand over her pension and because she maintained close ties with his ex-wife.