NEWS

In Brief

Census complete

Total of 770,000 civil servants register online An unprecedented government initiative to conduct an online census of the country’s civil servants concluded yesterday with some 770,000 employees having registered their details. The initiative, originally scheduled to conclude last Friday, was extended until yesterday as several thousand public servants had failed to register by the original deadline. About 10,000 employees submitted their details on the Interior Ministry’s website during the six-day extension, officials said. As an incentive to join the scheme, civil servants were told that failure to register would result in the suspension of their wages. The ministry now aims to redistribute employees so that understaffed state services are boosted and overstaffed bodies are trimmed down. Violent brawl Five youths in hospital Five youths, four Greeks and an Albanian, were in hospital yesterday following a brawl in the village of Diavatos in Imathia, northern Greece. According to police, the brawl broke out in the street following an argument between Greek and Albanian teenagers. Knives were drawn and the argument turned ugly, officers said. Four Greeks, aged 15 and 16, were hospitalized, two with serious injuries. An Albanian teenager was also sent to hospital with minor injuries. The exact cause of the dispute remained unclear. Lucrative holdup Two armed robbers made off with just under half a million euros yesterday after holding up a branch of Alpha Bank in Mandra, western Attica, police said. The pair broke into the bank through a side door used by staff at around 8 a.m., before the branch had opened to the public. They forced the cashiers to fill their bags and made off with an estimated 440,000 euros in cash. Cyprus exchange Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot authorities have set up a joint information center on the divided island to fill a policing gap fostered by years of estrangement, Reuters reported yesterday. The initiative is seen as a big step for Cyprus, where police authorities from the two sides do not generally communicate, and where criminals often attempt to jump the boundary to escape prosecution. «There was no connection between law enforcement agencies which is most unusual, and we are remedying that,» Reuters quoted Commander Phil Spence, the deputy senior police adviser for the United Nations peacekeeping force in Cyprus, as saying. Crimefighting Police figures made public yesterday show a drop in robberies and burglaries which the force attributes to a reinforcement of its patrols in Attica and the provinces. A total of 6,833 bank raids and break-ins were reported in June, down from 7,265 in May and 8,773 in March. Of these raids, 3,870 were reported in Attica last month, as compared to 4,400 in May and 5,584 in March. Figures for April were not published. There was a particularly sharp drop in the number of bank robberies reported in Attica. Nine were reported in June, compared to 40 in March.