HOSTAGES FROM ROMANIA: The welfare minister, Christos Solomonidis, has just returned from Thessaloniki, where he welcomed back to Greece a number of hostages who have been repatriated from Romania. The minister supervised the returnees’ transport to their homes in Epirus, Macedonia and Thrace. He said that he had been moved by the excellent and very patriotic sentiments of the arrivals, all of whom spoke excellent Greek, even the small children, after so many years behind the Iron Curtain. The minister added that they were in excellent health. All were presented with 150 drachmas to assist them (Ed. note: the price of 10 newspapers), along with a food parcel from a charity. There are an estimated 1,800 more Greeks still in Romania. HARAKIRI: Yesterday afternoon a senior staff member of the Foreign Ministry committed suicide in his home in Sekeri Street, by stabbing himself in the stomach with a Japanese knife. Family members found his body seated in a large armchair in a room decorated in the Japanese style.