NEWS

In Brief

THESSALONIKI ROW

Mayor-elect, incumbent argue over state of municipal finances Thessaloniki Mayor-elect Yiannis Boutaris yesterday incurred the wrath of the man he will replace in the northern city, Vassilis Papageorgopoulos, by questioning the reliability of the municipal budget figures he has been given. «After that, there is no reason to continue this farce of supplying Mr Boutaris with information,» said Papageorgopoulos. «On January 1 [when Boutaris takes over], he will realize how wrong his accusations are.» Papageorgopoulos has been accused in the past of embezzling municipal funds but has repeatedly denied the claims. The row erupted as authorities in Thessaloniki said 2,000 tons of rubbish had piled up on the city’s streets due to a strike by local sanitation workers, which may continue to the end of the week. Ferry strike Action extended for 48 hours Coastal ferries and passenger ships will remain docked today and tomorrow due to another 48-hour strike by the Panhellenic Seamen’s Federation (PNO), which is calling for its members’ jobs to be safeguarded, as well as strict adherence to the law for 10 months of employment per year and the creation of an independent unemployment fund for seamen. Caravel attack A rudimentary explosive device went off in the early hours yesterday outside the Caravel Hotel, central Athens. Police said that the homemade bomb, made from cooking gas canisters and a jerry can of fuel, had been placed at the hotel’s rear entrance on Evfroniou Street. The blast caused damage to the glass entrance but no injuries. No group had claimed responsibility for the attack by last night. Dead migrants Four undocumented immigrants found dead in a truck abandoned in a remote part of Amfilochia, western Greece, are believed to have died of asphyxiation, police said. According to officers, the four migrants were Iranian. Meanwhile, three Afghans were detained in Athens on suspicion of being part of a human-trafficking network that helped illegal immigrants reach Italy. The three suspects were in the process of transporting 27 migrants to a beach near Sounio. Falling plaster Young children escaped unharmed when chunks of plaster fell from the ceiling and walls of a primary school in Petralona, southern Athens, yesterday. Parents claimed that it has been several years since maintenance work has been carried out at the school. Bikes on track Officials from the Environment Ministry and the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) are due to meet today to discuss the possibility of turning abandoned railway lines into countryside bicycle tracks. Corinthia muggers Two Greek men, aged 21 and 23, have been arrested in the village of Melissi in Corinthia, west of Athens, on suspicion of mugging two Pakistanis. The two suspects allegedly pretended they wanted to hire the victims for work and, after the Pakistanis got into their van, they drove them to a remote spot and stole their money and mobile phones. A number of weapons were found in the possession of the alleged muggers.