NEWS

In Brief

SUMMER EXODUS

Patrols boosted on roads, ports and airports crowded Traffic police yesterday intensified patrols on the country’s national road network as thousands of city dwellers abandoned the capital to begin their summer holidays. The country’s ports and airports were crowded yesterday afternoon as thousands more vacationers waited for ferries or planes. According to authorities at the country’s main port of Piraeus, 13,300 passengers boarded ferries to Aegean islands yesterday. Officials at Athens International Airport said that 2,177 outbound flights were scheduled between Friday and Monday morning. Another major exodus of holidaymakers is due on Friday, August 13, ahead of the August 15 national holiday. SAMOS WILDFIRES Three beekeepers bailed Three beekeepers arrested in connection to a large blaze that broke out on the northeastern Aegean island of Samos earlier this week received conditional release yesterday after posting bail. It was unclear what the bail had been set at for the three islanders who have been indicted on charges of arson. Ice-pop allergies Athens prefectural inspectors yesterday ordered the immediate withdrawal from the market of two ice-pop products – Algida’s Callipo and Evga’s Chill out Push – after tests on samples revealed traces of a dairy protein (casein) which can trigger allergies. The presence of the protein in the ice pops had not been listed in the ingredients on the product’s wrapping, according to the inspectors. Corrupt customs A 62-year-old customs officer has been arrested following allegations that he demanded a bribe in order to delay an investigation into the import of 300 luxury vehicles by a car dealer. Authorities said that they were notified by the dealer that the customs official had allegedly asked him for 10,000 euros in return for delaying the probe for two years. After tipping off police, the businessman met with the customs officer, who was arrested as soon as he accepted marked banknotes. Blazes doused A fire that started yesterday afternoon outside the oil refinery in Aspropyrgos, northwestern Attica, was extinguished a few hours later after dozens of firemen were dispatched to tackle the blaze. According to firemen, the blaze broke out in a pile of plastic containers and was releasing toxic fumes. There were no reports of any injuries. Another fire that started yesterday in one of the two main engines of a high-speed ferry on its way from the island of Myconos to Paros was doused before it could spread. None of the 30-strong crew or 458 passengers aboard the Highspeed 1 were harmed. Record dance Thousands of Cretans are to join hands this evening in a human chain that will form on the side of the road from Hania to Lasithi, which stretches for 200 km, in bid to break the world record for the longest dance. The dancers, who are to convene at 7.30 p.m., are aiming for a place in the Guinness World Records book.