NEWS

In Brief

Hunger strikers

Minister vows to prioritize applications of 35 Iranians Citizens’ Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis yesterday said he would ask the state committee that is supposed to process asylum applications to prioritize the appeals of 35 Iranian refugees who have been on hunger strike for several weeks. Papoutsis made the pledge following talks with 10 representatives of the protesters, many of whom have sewn their mouths shut. The Iranians have threatened to remain outside the ministry until the committee starts processing their applications, which they claim to have submitted more than eight years ago. Protest injury Woman hurt after scuffles Police in Athens yesterday were seeking to establish how a young woman suffered head injuries following small-scale scuffles between youths and officers in central Athens ahead of today’s annual march commemorating the bloody suppression of a student uprising against the junta in 1973. According to police, the woman was found lying on a sidewalk a few blocks away from the National Technical University of Athens on Monday night. Her injuries are not believed to be serious. More nurses Health Minister Andreas Loverdos said yesterday that an additional 1,250 nurses will have been recruited at state hospitals by December 15. The government has been under pressure to cut spending in the state sector, including the debt-ridden health service, but has insisted there will be no more cuts to salaries. Stabbing suspect A 26-year-old Albanian man believed to be behind the fatal stabbing of a 21-year-old compatriot on Sunday in Plomari, southern Lesvos, has been detained, police on the island said yesterday. The 21-year-old, who had worked as a laborer on the island for several years, died after being stabbed several times in the chest in Plomari’s main square on Sunday evening. The 26-year-old suspect is believed to have stabbed the victim following a personal dispute. Cheese thieves Unidentified thieves made off with about 10 tons of cheese from a factory in the Cretan prefecture of Iraklio early yesterday, police on the island said. According to police, the thieves gained access to the maturing room where the cheese is kept by hacking a hole into the exterior wall of the three-floor factory. The factory owner told officers that the cheese taken was worth around 100,000 euros. Fatal accident The driver of a pickup truck was killed early yesterday when he lost control of his vehicle near the bank of the Strymon River in the northern prefecture of Serres. The driver, who was not identified, was found dead in the wreck of his truck which had overturned. Arson attacks Two predawn arson attacks in different parts of Thessaloniki targeted a conservative opposition New Democracy office and a municipal services office, causing damage but no injuries. A homemade explosive device comprising gas canisters detonated outside the ND offices in the district of Toumba. A similar device placed outside a municipal services office in the district of Menemeni detonated shortly afterward.