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No-one hurt in Greek blast hours before Merkel visit

A stolen car packed with some 70 kilograms of explosives exploded outside offices of Greece central bank, about 100 metres from the main Bank of Greece building.

The explosion shattered shop windows but caused no injuries, police said.

The blast struck hours before Greece planned its first foray into the international bond markets since it plunged into a debt crisis four years ago, and a day before a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

An anonymous caller warned a newspaper of the attack about 45 minutes before the explosion.

Small scale attacks against high profile people are frequent in Greece.


Syrian government jet delayed in Athens over fuel row

A Syrian government delegation heading to peace talks in Switzerland was held up for hours in Athens after a Greek firm refused to refuel the plane they were travelling in.

Vassilis Alevizopoulos, head of Greece's Civil Aviation Workers Union, said a fuel firm had refused to refuel it because of European Union sanctions against Syria.

Syrian state television issued a terse statement saying the four-hour delay could cause foreign minister Walid al-Moualem to miss his meeting with UN chief Ban Ki-Moon. It said the plane had later resumed its flight.

Golden Dawn MPs jailed for role in crime organisation

Two more MPs from Greece's extreme right Golden Dawn party have been jailed on charges of playing a pivotal role in a criminal organisation.

A third politician facing similar accusations will testify to prosecutors today.

Extreme-right Golden Dawn party lawmaker Panagiotis Iliopoulos Credit: Reuters

Giorgos Germenis and Panagiotis Iliopoulos testified for several hours to two appeals court prosecutors.

Yermenis, also known as Kaiadas from his stint as a bassist with Greek-Norwegian black metal band Naer Mataron, has been accused by witnesses of training Golden Dawn members to attack migrants.

Another politician, Efstathios Boukouras, will testify this morning. Apart from membership in Golden Dawn, he faces charges of extortion.

Migrant boat capsizes near Greece, killing 12

A migrant boat presumed to be heading for Italy has capsized in western Greece, killing 12 onboard, authorities said today.

Twelve migrants have been found dead after a boat capsized in western Greece, authorities said today. Credit: Google Maps

Fifteen others were rescued off the coast of Lefkada, an island in the Ionian Sea, and were taken to a hospital on the island for observation.

Coastguards are searching for more possible victims and survivors, the Merchant Marine Ministry said.

Ministry officials said the migrants were using a plastic boat which was about 25ft (8 metres) in length. It is not yet known where the boat began its journey.

This latest boat tragedy follows the deaths of at least 27 people in the Mediterranean sea last month - a week after more than 300 Africans lost their lives when their boat capsized near their destination of Lampedusa, Italy.


Riot police storms former Greek state TV headquarters

Riot police stormed the defunct Greek state television headquarters in Athens, ending a five-month sit-in from protesters against the broadcaster's closure.

ERT supporters clash with police in Athens on November 7. Credit: REUTERS/John Kolesidis

The government took the channel, ERT, off air in June as part of public sector cuts demanded by foreign lenders.

About 50 sacked journalists refused to leave the building and kept ERT alive over the Internet for five months.

They were finally removed from the building in the pre-dawn raid on Thursday.

Four people were briefly detained, as police fired a few rounds of teargas to disperse the stand-off, officials said.

The government has since launched a new television channel called Public TV.

Golden Dawn blames Greek government over killings

Greek far-right group Golden Dawn has blamed the country's government after two of its members were shot dead, saying it had asked for police protection at its offices after receiving threats.

Supporters of Greece's extreme-right Golden Dawn party. Credit: REUTERS/John Kolesidis

"(Prime Minister Antonis) Samaras's anti-Greek government is to blame for the crime, which allowed out-of-control terrorists to murder young kids in cold blood," the party said in a statement.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, although a police official told Reuters the force suspected unnamed anti-establishment groups.

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