NEWS

In Brief

INFLATION UP

Rise attributed to hotel, restaurant, alcohol and tobacco price hikes Consumer inflation rose to 3.5 percent year-on-year in August from 3.3 percent a month earlier, slightly above market expectations, the National Statistics Service (NSS) said yesterday. NSS said the rise was mainly due to higher prices charged in hotels, cafes and restaurants, up 7.1 percent, and to alcoholic drinks and tobacco, which rose 6.1 percent year-on-year. EU-harmonized inflation, the figure used by the European Union in its calculations, rose to 3.8 percent year-on-year in August, from 3.6 percent in July, the NSS said. ILLEGAL MORTGAGES Bank pulled up on 15 terms as court vindicates consumer group The mortgages being offered by Commercial Bank contain 15 terms which violate the law, an Athens court ruled yesterday following a suit lodged against the bank by the consumer group EKPOIZO. As a result of the ruling – which the law dictates should be applied across the banking sector – banks will no longer be able to claim 1 percent of the mortgage value in commission and will face restrictions on many liberties they have enjoyed until now. MESOGEIA Much of development decree ‘illegal’ Several aspects of a presidential decree facilitating the development of the Mesogeia area of eastern Attica are illegal, according to a Council of State ruling made public yesterday. Plots of land due for development must cover at least 2 hectares – not 1 hectare as stated in the decree prepared by the Public Works Ministry, the court said. Lesperoglou trial Suspected left-wing terrorist Avraam Lesperoglou, who is accused of attempting to murder a police officer in October 1982, yesterday went on trial for the same crime for the third time. He was originally sentenced to 17 years in prison and then acquitted on appeal. But a Supreme Court prosecutor ordered a repeat of the appeal court hearing. Yesterday, officer Giorgos Psaroudakis repeated his charge that he recognized Lesperoglou as the man who shot him during an attempted robbery. Lesperoglou claimed the judges faced pressure from «Americans and locals who follow their orders.» A new anti-terrorism law means Lesperoglou, 48, will be the last suspected terrorist to have his case heard by an appeals court comprising three judges and four jurors. From now on, three judges will rule. Accident probe As two power plant workers lay in critical condition in hospital yesterday after sustaining third-degree burns on 95 percent of their bodies in a boiler accident at a plant in the southern Peloponnese on Saturday night, Development Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos demanded an inquiry into the cause of the accident. Ilias Barlabas, 30, and Panayiotis Tsoukalas, 39, had been cleaning the inside of a giant boiler at the Megalopolis plant when burning ash started falling on them from the boiler walls. Three workers who tried to help were also in hospital yesterday with severe burns. Taxi strike Athens taxi drivers will strike from 3-8 p.m. today in protest at the stabbing murder of a colleague yesterday. Child molestation A 50-year-old construction worker, believed to have posed as a plain-clothes policeman to intimidate several young boys into accompanying him to remote places where he would grope them at knife-point, faced an Athens prosecutor yesterday. Antonis Mylonas was arrested last Friday for evading an 18-month jail sentence for embezzlement before six of his alleged victims, aged between 9 and 11, identified him as their attacker. Journalist targeted A hand grenade hurled at the Kifissia home of the Ethnos daily newspaper’s journalist Giorgos Tsioutsias yesterday caused minor damage but no injuries. Witnesses told police they saw the assailants, who have not been identified, make their getaway by car. Migrants detained Paramilitary police in Turkey yesterday detained a total of 218 illegal immigrants on their way to Western Europe. The would-be migrants, from Iran and several Middle Eastern and African nations, were stopped in the western Edirne province bordering Greece where they were believed to be headed.