NEWS

In Brief

DRAMATIC FINALE

Lawyer accused of defaming employee of Milan’s La Scala The electronic crimes squad has compiled a slander case against a 30-year-old Greek lawyer, it said yesterday. The man allegedly sent a series of e-mails to the Teatro alla Scala in Milan defaming a 40-year-old Greek involved in the management of the prestigious Italian opera company. The probe revealed that the e-mails began arriving just two months after he assumed his post on December 11, 2009. Police searching the home of the 30-year-old, who was traced via his Internet Protocol address, found evidence that he was working on behalf of competitors of the 40-year-old. The lawyer said in a statement to the police that he did not believe the e-mails to be libelous. The case has been turned over to Athens’s Court of First Instance. Belgian anarchists Brussels GNTO office attacked A Greek National Tourism Organization office in Brussels was attacked by vandals yesterday. An employee, who was not hurt, said that three masked men and one woman threw paint at the office and shouted slogans in support of Greek anarchists. They also left behind leaflets claiming their group was called the «Belgian Anarchists.» Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos happened to be in Brussels for a meeting of his European Union counterparts and visited the office after the attack. He said the damage would be repaired. Discussions are also taking place about the possibility of guarding the office. Memorial plaque A plaque condemning all violence will be placed at the site where three Marfin Egnatia Bank employees died of smoke inhalation last week after the Panepistimiou Street bank was torched by protesters during a May 5 rally against government austerity measures. City of Athens Council chairman Theodoros Bechrakis said in a statement yesterday that the wording on the plaque will be decided by all the political parties represented in the municipality. Local politics In continuing local reaction to government plans to reduce the number of municipalities and prefectures, residents and authorities of the Pylaia Municipality in northern Greece blocked both the inbound and outbound lanes of the Thessaloniki ring road at the Anatolia overpass yesterday morning. The 30-minute protest, which began during the morning rush hour at 8.30 a.m., caused traffic jams both around Thessaloniki and in the city center. «Pylaia is a city of 60,000 residents with a robust rate of growth. In 10 years, we will have 150,000 residents, so it is unreasonable to turn us into a district within a larger municipality,» said Pylaia Mayor Vassilis Kartalis. Knifepoint robbery Two men armed with knives held up a convenience store early yesterday morning in northwestern Thessaloniki, netting 600 euros. The robbers made off on foot, though the police managed to apprehend one of the suspects during their ensuing investigation. Crash course Data released by the local branch of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau pointed to a slight rise in road accidents in Greece involving cars with foreign registration plates. There were 5,092 traffic accidents recorded for cars with foreign plates in 2009, compared to 5,025 the year before.