NEWS

In Brief

Campaign donations

Bill to boost transparency before elections gets the OK Parliament approved a bill yesterday that requires all donations to political parties ahead of November’s local elections to be made public. Despite the disagreement of opposition parties, Interior Minister Yiannis Ragousis said that PASOK would soon submit an identical draft law for general elections. «The lack of transparency stems from anonymous donations and from there we get to dirty political cash,» said the minister. To date, political parties have not had to disclose the donors’ identity either to the public or to the supervising authority, the Parliament’s Control Committee. Fatal blaze Old couple trapped in home An 84-year-old man and his 64-year-old wife died in a fire in their apartment in central Thessaloniki early yesterday, police in the northern port city said. According to the local fire service, the fire broke out on the fifth floor of the apartment block before spreading to the sixth floor where the couple lived. A total of 25 firemen were dispatched to extinguish the blaze but failed to save the couple, who are believed to have become trapped by the encroaching flames. Online antiquities? Police in Thessaloniki yesterday arrested a 52-year-old man from Serres who is alleged to have tried to sell a post-Byzantine era water jug over the Internet. The suspect faced a prosecutor before being released on conditional terms. Experts are seeking to determine the authenticity of the receptacle, which is believed to date to the mid-15th to early 19th century. Officer death A 32-year-old army officer was killed late on Thursday when the military vehicle in which he had been traveling collided with a Turkish truck in Rentina, near Thessaloniki. The sergeant major was killed instantly. Of the other five officers who had been in the vehicle, one was seriously injured and the other four emerged relatively unscathed. The exact circumstances of the crash remained unclear yesterday. Fraudster caught A 39-year-old Kozani man was being questioned by police in the northern city after four local residents accused him of swindling them out of a total of 4,000 euros to help them secure jobs. Police believe that the suspect had attempted to swindle other locals as well. Teen killer A 15-year-old schoolgirl charged with the murder last month of her 80-year-old neighbor in the village of Kerkini near Serres, northern Greece, was released from custody yesterday pending trial due to her young age. A 16-year-old girl, who was also charged in connection with the knifing, remains in custody. The girls are alleged to have stabbed the elderly man 15 times before fleeing with 10 euros. Houkli resigns Maria Houkli, a prominent journalist who has been the anchorwoman for state channel NET for the past eight years, resigned yesterday. Houkli cited personal reasons for her decision.