NEWS

In Brief

Ongoing dispute

PM to meet with FYROM counterpart on flagging talks Prime Minister George Papandreou yesterday was due to meet his counterpart from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Nikola Gruevski, on the sidelines of a European Union summit in Brussels to discuss a stalled United Nations-mediated effort to resolve a longstanding dispute over the Balkan country’s name. According to diplomats, the aim is to create a «more positive climate» to improve bilateral ties and thus name issue negotiations. Smoked out Cabbie’s joint gives him away Police in the northern port of Kavala on Wednesday seized more than a quarter of a kilogram of cannabis from the trunk of a taxi after sniffer dogs reacted to the smell of a joint that the 43-year-old taxi driver is alleged to have been smoking at the time. Ironically the drugs, which had been divided into 32 plastic packages, had been packed into a glass vase to stop the smell from escaping. Police said a subsequent search of the suspect’s home turned up more drugs. Terrorism arrest A 22-year-old man was arrested in Volos, central Greece, yesterday after his fingerprint was found at a residence in Halandri, northeastern Athens, that was allegedly used by the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire group to construct time bombs, police said. The suspect was not named. Crooked cops Two Thessaloniki police officers alleged to have been supplying an informer with drugs to secure his cooperation were conditionally released on Wednesday pending trial. The two officers, a 44-year-old precinct head and a 33-year-old sergeant who have both denied the charges against them, have been told not to leave the country. The 43-year-old «informer,» alleged to have accepted quantities of drugs seized at crime scenes, was also conditionally released. Spate of robberies Burglars made off with 2,500 euros in cash and two cell phones after breaking into the surgery of a gynecologist in the district of Ambelokipi, near central Athens, on Wednesday night. There was no one at the surgery at the time. At around the same time an armed robber held up a branch of the Vassilopoulos supermarket chain in Halandri, northern Athens. The robber, who struck as the store was closing, made off with 50,000 euros. Another armed raid on a betting shop in Thessaloniki shortly after 3 p.m. on Wednesday netted around 3,000 euros for two robbers, according to the store owner. Fiery encounter Suspected anarchists early yesterday hurled firebombs at a riot police unit stationed outside the offices of ruling PASOK near the central district of Exarchia. The attack was carried out by a group of around 15 hooded youths who managed to elude arrest. There were no injuries as the firebombs did not hit their target. Match marred Aris qualified for the Greek Cup soccer final with a 4-2 aggregate score over Kavala after drawing 1-1 away in yesterday’s second leg. The match was marred by clashes between rival fans in and outside the stadium, which left several people injured. In the other semifinal, Panathinaikos took a 3-1 lead over PAS Giannina after Wednesday’s first leg.