NEWS

In Brief

TAKEOVER ACTIVITY

Bank of Cyprus dismisses bid from rival Marfin Popular Bank Bank of Cyprus rejected yesterday a takeover bid by Marfin Popular Bank in the latest round of takeover activity to hit the Athens stock market. The Cypriot lender said that it «believes the offer lacks seriousness since it comes from an organization which was only recently created, from the merger of three financial organizations whose activities have not yet been operationally united.» Marfin's offer came a day after its rival Piraeus Bank had said it was making a friendly public offer for between 40 percent and 100 percent of the share capital of Marfin Popular. DOCTOR STRIKE Hospital medics to stay off work for a week to protest wages Doctors at state hospitals in Attica said yesterday that they will begin a five-day strike on Monday in protest at their working hours and lack of investment in the health service. The doctors are demanding that they only work six hours a day plus one duty shift a week. They also want more doctors to be hired and their basic wage to be increased. Doctors in other parts of Greece will join the industrial action on Thursday with a 48-hour strike of their own. MITSOTAKIS IMPROVING Ex-PM out of intensive care Former prime minister Constantine Mitsotakis came out of intensive care at the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Athens yesterday after undergoing a double bypass operation on Tuesday. Doctors said that Mitsotakis, 88, was recuperating satisfactorily and had been moved to a private room in the center. Officer suspended An army lieutenant colonel who allegedly stole draft documents in order to excuse prospective conscripts from their military duties will testify at a military magistrate on Monday. The officer is facing criminal charges, including stealing military documents. Deputy Defense Minister Vassilis Michaloliakos ordered a 12-month suspension of the officer yesterday. Unscheduled landing A Cyprus Airways jet was forced to make an unscheduled landing at Athens International Airport yesterday after the captain reported a problem with his control panel. The Airbus 320 was traveling from Larnaca to Thessaloniki with 145 passengers on board. The airplane landed safely and the passengers were transferred to another flight as technicians began to check the Airbus. Mayor cleared An appeals court cleared Mayor of Sikees in Thessaloniki, Simos Danilidis of homicide through negligence when a 20-month-old girl was killed in 1999 by a metal bar that fell on her head at a municipal gym. Danilidis argued that the council was not responsible for giving the young girl, who was brought in by others, access to the gym. The court also cleared the council's former president of the sporting committee, Dimitris Tsiakiris. Controlled explosions Bomb experts detonated a mine in a controlled explosion at the port of Iraklion, Crete, yesterday. The mine was found in an undersea area where a Dutch military ship had sunk in 1944. Authorities said that more controlled explosions will be held on Monday of a large amount of ammunition found on the sunken ship by divers. Edessa abuse Deputy Health Minister Giorgos Constantopoulos yesterday asked social services in Edessa, northern Greece, to continue to provide support for as long as needed to the alleged victims of child abuse and their families. A 47-year-old man from the town is suspected of raping five boys aged 9-16. The father of one of the boys has also been arrested on suspicion that he demanded money from the suspect to keep quiet about the abuse. Fake money Authorities uncovered in Hania, Crete, yesterday, 33 fake 200-euro notes that had been deposited in local banks by customers. Police said that the forged notes were of exceptional quality and that it is the first time that so many high-value euro notes have circulated in Hania. Authorities added that up until now forged 10-, 20- and 50-euro notes had been detected on the island.

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