NEWS

In Brief

PROPERTY PENALTIES

Process to register illegally altered parts of homes begins Homeowners can begin submitting to their local town-planning office as of this Friday paperwork concerning illegally altered parts of their properties. A law passed last week allows homeowners to declare areas of homes that were originally planned as balconies, garages or basements but have since been turned into living space, known as «imiypaithrioi» (semi-open) in Greek. Homeowners must pay a penalty to do so but this will protect them from any further fees for the next 40 years. The period for submitting paperwork will last until the end of the year. CRUISING OUT Tourists leave Piraeus A Malta-flagged cruise liner that had been due to leave Piraeus on Monday night but was forced to remain moored by protesting seamen set sail from Piraeus at 6.30 a.m. yesterday, with 970 tourists on board. The tourists spent Monday night in hotels in the capital after striking seamen blockading the port prevented them from boarding the Zenith, a US-owned cruise liner that had been rented by a Spanish firm. The seamen, whose 24-hour nationwide strike kept ferries moored in ports across the country, are protesting the government’s plans to lift cabotage rules to allow non-EU-flagged vessels to moor at Greek ports. They fear such a move would lead to a loss of jobs for Greek workers. Pavlidis out Former Aegean Minister and New Democracy MP Aristotelis Pavlidis was yesterday ousted from the conservative party. A disciplinary committee, acting on a request by ND leader Antonis Samaras, decided Pavlidis’s long association should end because his actions «are doing harm to the party.» Last May, Pavlidis narrowly survived a parliamentary vote to indict him over corruption charges. It was alleged the Dodecanese deputy accepted bribes in return for awarding contracts for state-subsidized ferry routes. He was excluded from the ND candidate list for last October’s general elections. Samaras asked for Pavlidis to be ousted after he insisted on attending an ND meeting on Rhodes. Shocking graffiti A 12-year-old boy was transferred to the capital’s Aghia Sofia Children’s Hospital yesterday to be treated for burns and shock after being electrocuted as he spray-painted graffiti on the wagon of a train parked at the central railway station in Larissa, central Greece. According to police, the adolescent managed to sneak onto the tracks without being spotted by staff before climbing onto the roof of the wagon where he started spray-painting. In the process he was hit by an overhead electricity cable, they said. The extent of the boy’s injuries was unclear. Bank firebombed A homemade explosive device comprising gas canisters caused damage but no injuries when it detonated outside a branch of Emporiki Bank in the Cretan port of Hania early yesterday. The explosion started a fire which the local fire service quickly extinguished.