NEWS

In Brief

DROWNED MIGRANTS

Bodies of man and child, recovered in sea off Lesvos Port authorities in the eastern Aegean yesterday recovered the bodies of two suspected illegal immigrants – a man and a child – off the northeastern coast of Lesvos, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The nationalities of the two had not been confirmed last night. The discovery follows Wednesday’s recovery of the drowned bodies of six Afghan immigrants, including three young girls, off the island’s northern coast. Police said they believed the six had been aboard a Turkish smuggling boat from which they had been thrown or which had sunk. CANNABIS RULING Possession of seeds a crime, the Supreme Court decides Possession of cannabis seeds constitutes a criminal act as it clearly suggests the cultivation of the plant for gain, according to a ruling by the criminal section of the Supreme Court made public yesterday. The decision was approved by a majority of four votes to one, with the latter member opining that possession of cannabis seeds is only a crime once they have have been planted. IOLAS VILLA Art collector’s home to be renovated A villa in the northern Athenian suburb of Aghia Paraskevi, looted and vandalized following the death of renowned art collector Alexandros Iolas in the 1980s, is to be expropriated and restored before reopening as an exhibition center for the Cultural Olympiad, the Economy, Public Works and Culture ministries decided yesterday. The costs to expropriate and renovate the villa will be covered by the Culture Ministry. Tax shock A tax office mistake resulted in a bill for 2.9 million euros being sent to a pensioner with severe heart problems in Serres, northern Greece, the daily Eleftherotypia reported yesterday. Social Security Foundation (IKA) pensioner Dimitris Sapoundzis, from the village of Faia Petra, is to receive a new statement after the pensioner’s son appealed to his local tax office which acknowledged the error, the daily said. Boiler explosion A sample of petrol from a boiler tank which exploded in a home in a northern Greek village on Thursday, killing two people, was yesterday being analyzed for impurities in a state laboratory. Experts investigating the cause of the explosion – which occurred while the fuel was being transferred from a truck to the fuel tank of the house in Kato Nevrokopi, near Drama – want to establish whether the fuel had been doctored. Two women, hospitalized with severe burns following the explosion, are in stable condition, doctors said yesterday. Digs in Bulgaria Greece has donated 15,000 euros toward archaeological excavations on the site of the ancient Greek necropolis of Apollonia near the Bulgarian port of Sozopol, the Athens News Agency said yesterday. Gypsy killing A 38-year-old Gypsy died late on Thursday after being shot in the face during a party in his garden in Zefyri, western Athens, by one of his guests. Nikos Moustafas died in hospital a few hours after being shot by Nikos Kamberis, 22. Both men had been drinking. Soccer hopes A joint bid by Greece and Turkey to stage the 2008 European Football Championships is «almost perfect,» visiting UEFA official Jacob Erel said yesterday at the end of a two-day visit to soccer grounds in Athens and Thessaloniki where matches will be held if the bid is successful. Albanian knifed A 39-year-old Albanian man died early yesterday after being stabbed by two unidentified youths at an intercity bus stop near the electric railway station in the Athenian district of Kato Patissia. One of the two men held Sotir Dimas, while the other stabbed him in his right armpit. Anti-racism protest An anti-racism demonstration will be held outside the Athens appeals court on November 6 when the trial of Pantelis Kazakos – convicted of killing two foreigners and attempting to kill another seven in October 1999 – is to begin, the Youth Against Racism in Europe group said yesterday. Kazakos received two life terms and 25 years for the murder of a Kurd and a Georgian and the attempted murder of another seven foreigners, five of whom he left permanently disabled.