NEWS

In Brief

Trash cleanup

Workers start gathering tons of garbage from city streets Municipal workers yesterday continued gathering thousands of tons of trash that have accumulated on the streets of Athens due to go-slow action by staff at the capital’s main landfill and their own walkout last week. The workers had managed to gather more than 7,000 tons of trash by yesterday evening but another 30,000 tons or so remained to be collected. Health authorities were pushing for the cleanup to be completed by tomorrow to avert a growing public health risk. Prostitution ring Dozens held for questioning Police in several cities across the country yesterday arrested 17 people and detained another 160 for questioning in connection with a huge sex-trafficking ring believed to have been bringing women from Russia and states of the former Eastern bloc into the country and forcing them to work as prostitutes. The crackdown was coordinated by the police’s organized crime unit in Athens and included raids in the capital as well as Thessaloniki, Lamia, Volos, Larissa, Florina and other cities. The suspected ringleader is the 38-year-old owner of a chain of bakeries and nightclubs who was arrested in connection with a similar racket in November 2008 but released a year later. Athens Plus The last edition of Kathimerini’s weekly English-language newspaper will be published today following a decision to cease publication. Athens Plus first came out in June 2008 and went on to win the award for best-designed weekly newspaper in Europe. Please send comments to [email protected] Hostage case A man who took hostage a female employee at the offices of the Insurance Organization for the Self-Employed (OAEE) in Patissia, near central Athens, doused her in petrol and threatened to set her on fire yesterday morning was arrested before he could inflict any harm. According to police, the assailant had been angry about an alleged delay in the processing of some documents he had submitted to apply for his pension. Metro station The Athens metro is to open a new station at Aghia Paraskevi, north of Athens, by the end of the year, Attiko Metro’s management said yesterday. Pollution rap The European Court yesterday condemned Greece for failing to comply with a European Union directive setting restrictions on industrial and agricultural activities with a high potential for pollution. The aim is to prevent or reduce pollution of the atmosphere, water and soil, as well as the quantities of waste arising from industrial and agricultural installations, to ensure a high level of environmental protection. Drug haul Officers of Attica’s narcotics unit yesterday were questioning three Albanian nationals – two men aged 25 and 33 and a woman aged 25 – in connection with a large haul of drugs on Wednesday night at an apartment in the affluent northern suburb of Ekali. Officers confiscated nearly 29 kilograms of cannabis, 1.6 kilograms of heroin and 600 grams of cocaine along with two pistols, ammunition, around 3,000 euros in cash and six cell phones. Two cars were seized as well.