NEWS

In Brief

DRUG HAUL

Eight arrested after 80 kilos of cocaine found on yacht Police said yesterday that they had arrested a 23-year-old Greek man, a 73-year-old Polish national and another six people in connection with an 80-kilogram haul of cocaine on a yacht off the coast of Lefkada, in the Ionian Sea. Officers of the Attica narcotics squad and coast guard officials raided the Polish-flagged vessel, which had sailed to Greece from Venezuela, and arrested the 23-year-old and the Polish captain after finding the drugs. The other six people subsequently were arrested in Athens and two more suspects are being sought. The head of the smuggling ring is believed to be a Greek national currently serving time for a previous, much larger cocaine haul. ATHENS INNER RING Restrictions lifted for summer The traffic restrictions that normally apply on weekdays in the center of Athens, preventing cars with license plates that end in odd numbers from entering a designated area on dates that are even numbers and vice versa for cars with even-numbered plates, will not be enforced as of Monday. The lifting of inner-ring restrictions will remain in effect until early September, so all cars are free to access central Athens until then. Soccer draw In only its second appearance in European soccer’s top club tournament, the Champions League, PAOK has been drawn against Dutch giants Ajax. The first match of third-qualifying-round tie is scheduled for July 27-28 in Amsterdam, with the return leg to be held in Thessalonki on August 3-4. In the lesser Europa League, Olympiakos beat Albanian team Besa Kavaje 5-0 away on Thursday night to virtually ensure its place in the third qualifying round of the competition. There, the Piraeus club will play either Maccabi Tel Aviv of Israel or Mogren of Montenegro. Greece’s other representative in the competition, Aris, was drawn against the Polish cup winner, Jagiellonia Bialystok. The first legs of the Europa League games will be on July 29, the second legs on August 5. Party funds The government, in concurrence with the opposition parties, has approved the annual state funding allocated to them to increase from 37.1 million euros to 48.8 million. Independent MP Dora Bakoyannis called for the parties to reject the increase and put the money into an account to be used to pay off Greece’s public debt. «Do the government and parties not realize what message they are sending to the unemployed, pensioners, workers and businessmen?» she said. Officers suspended Two officers were suspended yesterday, one in the northern Athens suburb of Aghia Paraskevi and the second in Nea Moudania, Halkidiki. In the first case, the officer was suspended after a 74-year-old woman who had reported a burglary accused him of stealing 1,200 euros in cash during a visit to her home to interview her. In the second case, an officer who had been on duty yesterday at the Nea Moudania police precinct was suspended after failing to notice a detainee escape from a holding cell.