NEWS

In Brief

PRICE HIKES

Nearly half consumer complaints concern cost of living, watchdog says The cost of living accounts for nearly half of all consumer complaints (47,748 out of a total of 107,567) lodged since the beginning of the year, the Consumer Institute (INKA) said yesterday. Consumer goods prices have risen at an average rate of 10.14 percent since October 2001, INKA added. Meanwhile, the Development Ministry said its recent inspections showed the price of fresh fruit and vegetables had increased as much as 16.6 percent in a week. INKA warned of protest action from November 25 ahead of anticipated price hikes before Christmas. ARMED POLICE New rules on use of weapons to be presented by minister today New regulations on the use of weapons by police officers will be presented today by Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis, the ministry said yesterday. The new rules are to determine when officers can use their weapons and to train them effectively in responsible use of arms. PRISON PROTEST N17 detainees snub jail food All jailed November 17 suspects – with the exception of Dionysis Georgiadis, Constantinos Telios and Patroklos Tselentis – yesterday started a boycott of the Korydallos prison food, demanding an improvement in their detention conditions. But the inmates are not on hunger strike, according to reports by jail sources yesterday, which said the inmates were buying food from the prison shop. Literary prizes The Culture Ministry yesterday announced the winners of its annual literature prizes. Poet Manolis Anagnostakis received the state prize for literature for the entire body of his work while the state prize for novels was split between Zyranna Zateli and Menis Koumantareas. The prizes for short stories and poetry went to Dimitris Kalokyris and Marios Markides respectively. Antiquities haul A 48-year-old farmer has been charged with illicit trade in antiquities after a total of 325 ancient artifacts – mostly bronze and iron fragments – were found in his possession, Thessaloniki police said yesterday. Officers confiscated dozens of artifacts, including an iron sword, a bronze statuette of Hermes and a miniature bronze shield, from the home of Stavros Hadzioannidis in the village of Skidra. Breakaway vulture A vulture chick which crossed into the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus from the island’s south last month will be returned, Turkish-Cypriot environmental officials said yesterday. The 8-month-old bird, named Vangelis, was found last week near the small town of Kalecik in the Karpas peninsula after escaping from an animal shelter in the island’s south. Migrants detained Patras port authorities on Sunday discovered 12 Iraqi Kurds in the roof of a bus being driven by Polish national Szora Staniskaw, 38, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. The would-be migrants – found hidden in a space formerly occupied by an air-conditioning system – had been planning to board a ferry to Venice. Smoking ban The Health Ministry and the main civil servants’ union ADEDY will work together to enforce the ban on smoking in public areas introduced at the beginning of last month, Deputy Health Minister Hector Nasiokas said yesterday following a meeting with ADEDY union leader Spyros Papaspyrou. The restrictions will be extended to restaurants and cafeterias from December 1, when smokers will have to be segregated. Heart op robber A robber who stole more than 14,500 euros from a bank in Thessaloniki last Friday yesterday said he needed the money for his 8-month-old daughter’s heart operation. Christos Kalafatis, 31, said he needed the money for an operation at the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Athens and further surgery at a London hospital. Kurds convicted Three Turkish Kurds who occupied the Greek consulate in Frankfurt in 1999 in protest at the arrest of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan received nine-month suspended prison sentences from a German court yesterday for breaching the peace and supporting the PKK, banned in Germany in 1993.