NEWS

In Brief

Street killing

Man shot by assailants trying to mug his wife A 35-year-old man died in a Thessaloniki hospital yesterday shortly after being shot trying to prevent a mugging in the northern city. Police said that the unnamed man – from one of the former Soviet republics – was shot as he attempted to stop three assailants from mugging his wife. The victim, who worked in a travel agency, was struck in the arm and stomach. TAX BREAK Robbers steal 77,000 euros Robbers broke into the Nafplio tax office, in the Peloponnese, overnight and stole 77,000 euros in cash, police said yesterday. The thieves forced open the door, disarmed the alarm and used drills to break into two safes where the cash was. They then opened two other safes and stole various valuables. The robbers also opened a safe in the deputy director’s officer but did not steal anything from there. Upon leaving the building, they littered the floor with tax documents and set off the fire alarm, probably in a bid to cover their tracks. Farming cuts The government plans to reduce the 15.5 million euros it spends on the wages of employees at 55 nationwide centers that promote rural development and the state-run Agrogi SA company, which is responsible for improving agricultural productivity, by shutting all of them down. In a decision signed yesterday by Agricultural Development Minister Katerina Batzeli, some 700 employees will be moved to other parts of the public sector and their wages adjusted accordingly. Forest fires The armed forces will help to put out forest fires this year, Defense Minister Evangelos Venizelos said yesterday. Two Chinook helicopters and 774 trained soldiers will be at the authorities’ disposal during the summer. This team will also be on hand to help with rescue operations following other natural disasters, Venizelos said. Zakynthos quake An earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale struck Zakynthos early yesterday. The quake’s epicenter was in the sea, 35 kilometers southwest of the Ionian island. The tremor was recorded at 6.19 a.m. No injuries or damage was reported. Cleaning drive The capital’s municipal street-cleaning department has taken delivery of 303 new vehicles to be used in a drive to clean up the city center, Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis said yesterday. Kaklamanis highlighted the large number of homeless migrants, burgeoning illegal street trade, illegal billboards and frequent public protests as the key reasons for squalid conditions in many parts of central Athens. Explosives haul Police in Halkidiki, northern Greece, yesterday detained a 45-year-old man after confiscating nearly 400 grams of dynamite from his home in the small town of Sykia. Officers also confiscated 32 cannabis plants from the suspect’s home. Landfill appeal The Environment and Interior ministries yesterday sent a joint letter to regional and local authorities, asking them to shut down all illegal landfills and replace them with sanitary waste-processing units by July 16.