NEWS

In Brief

Road accidents

Spike in deaths, serious accidents over holidays The number of road fatalities recorded over the holiday season this year increased by 8.16 percent compared to the same period last year while the number of serious accidents increased by nearly 30 percent, according to traffic police figures made public yesterday. A total of 63 people died in road accidents between December 21 and January 8 compared to 49 deaths in the same period a year ago. The increase in serious accidents was even sharper, with 84 people badly hurt compared to 65 in the same period last year. The only positive news was that the number of minor injuries fell to 691 from 806 in the same period a year ago. Keratea unrest More clashes over landfill Fresh clashes broke out in Keratea, southeast of Athens, on Saturday between police and local residents opposed to the construction of a landfill in the area. Around 100 protesters lit bonfires on a highway where riot police have been stationed for several weeks. On Friday a court ruled that construction be suspended until February 2, when an appeal against the project by residents of Keratea is to be heard. Residents have clashed regularly with police over the past few weeks. Several youths arrested after violent scuffles with police last month have since been released pending trial. Illegal parking Municipal police officers are to launch a crackdown on illegal parking in Athens from today, on orders from Giorgos Kaminis, the city’s new mayor. According to sources in Kaminis’s office, the mayor is determined to put a stop to the «laxness» that has allowed motorists to get away with parking on the city’s sidewalks and disabled ramps or double parking and causing congestion in the city center without being punished. Offenders will be fined or have their registration plates removed. Migrants intercepted Police in Kavala said on Saturday that they had detained 15 Afghan immigrants and a 19-year-old Moroccan woman, believed to be a member of a cross-border smuggling ring, at the northeastern city’s airport. According to police, the migrants had been about to board two chartered flights to the Italian city of Genoa when they were stopped. Police also detained four Greeks who are believed to have driven the migrants to the airport. The Moroccan woman is believed to be employed by a travel agency in Milan which allegedly chartered the two planes to transfer the migrants to Italy. Police said the 15 migrants had been carrying fake identification. Armed raid Two gunmen made off with 1,200 euros in the early hours of Saturday morning after holding up a gas station on the outskirts of Thessaloniki. According to police, the armed robbers forced the employee who had been on duty at the time to hand over the day’s takings before making their getaway on a motorcycle. There were no reports of any injuries.