Celebrations get under way
The Patra Carnival, the biggest such celebration in Greece, began on Saturday. Patra Mayor Yiannis Dimaras got events under way with a fireworks show. Retail stores stayed open until late to mark the occasion. Celebrations in the wetsern port city will last until March 2, when the Carnival will end with the final procession and the burning of King Carnival at Aghios Nikolaos wharf.
Almost 40,000 knockoff items have been seized by police in Thessaloniki. Raids by officers on two stores and a warehouse in Dendropotamos and Derveni led to more than 20,000 bottles of counterfeit perfume, 7,000 fake sunglasses and 3,000 knockoff mobile phones being discovered. Police also found 4,417 counterfeit electronic tablets and 100 wristwatches. An Uzi submachine gun, 48 bullets and almost 74,000 euros in cash was seized. Three men were arrested and a fourth was being sought. The suspects face charges of breaching copyright laws and money laundering.
Two men in Thessaloniki are to face charges of fraud after allegedly tricking people into giving them money for vacations that never happened, authorities said on Saturday. The two men, aged 31 and 59, are believed to have fooled 38 people into depositing money into their accounts. They are alleged to have set up seven Facebook pages to advertise the holiday packages to destinations such as Paris, London and Dubai. They pretended they had a network of travel agencies but in reality had only set up 10 telephone numbers and eight bank accounts, according to police. The two men are due to be charged in the coming days.
A 32-year-old man was under police guard at the Attikon Hospital in Athens over the weekend after an eventful chase with police on Friday night. The Roma man failed to stop his vehicle when police asked him to do so in Piraeus. He then sped off, knocking down two motorcyclists. He also crashed into two police motorbikes. Officers eventually stopped the suspect by firing at the vehicle. The 32-year-old was injured in the leg during the chase. No other serious injuries were reported.
Roadworks on Athinon Avenue will mean that the inside lane from Daphni to Athens will be closed between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. today and tomorrow, the Attica Regional Authority said.