NEWS

In Brief

PARTHENON MARBLES

Greece to speak to British Museum next month about loan of artifacts Greek officials and representatives of the British Museum may discuss possibly loaning the Parthenon Marbles to Greece when they meet on May 4, Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis said yesterday. Voulgarakis was reacting to comments by Neil MacGregor, the director of the British Museum, who said that «in principle» the antiquities could spend three or six months in another country. However, MacGregor told Bloomberg News that the Greek government would first have to admit the Parthenon Marbles belong to the British Museum. «The Greek government has never asked for a loan of the material from the British Museum. The issue has always been about the permanent removal of all the Parthenon material in the BM collection to Athens,» said MacGregor. Voulgarakis said he read the comments «with interest..» OLIVE BRANCH? Turkish military chief thinks Athens and Ankara can build trust The armed forces of Greece and Turkey have a «duty to create a climate of trust» so politicians can resolve problems, Turkish military chief General Yasar Buyukanit said at the end of a visit to Thessaloniki yesterday. «Where there's a will, there's a way and I think that will exists,» he added. During his visit, Buyukanit denied that Turkish jets frequently violated Greek air space but suggested that both countries' planes should fly unarmed over the Aegean. GUARD ATTACK CCTV cameras were not working The CCTV cameras around the home of Supreme Court President Romylos Kedikoglou had all been burned in the weeks before two assailants disarmed the guard outside the judge's house on Tuesday night, police sources told Kathimerini yesterday. It is not clear if the cameras had been destroyed in preparation for the attack on the guard. N17 verdict The five-member appeals court that has been hearing the appeals of the convicted members of the November 17 terrorist group will announce its verdict on May 3, the judges said yesterday. The sentencing of anyone who is found guilty of participating or colluding in the group's deadly attacks will take place at a later date. Dead inmate A 45-year-old prisoner who was found dead in his jail cell in Thessaloniki yesterday died from natural causes, a coroner said. The unnamed man had been transferred from a prison in Komotini, northern Greece to Thessaloniki where he was due to stand trial on drug charges. Authorities did not reveal the exact cause of the 45-year-old's death. Halkidiki quake An earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale shook the northern Greek area of Halkidiki yesterday, according to the Athens Geodynamic Institute. There were no reports of damage or injuries. The quake, which struck at 1.15 p.m., had an epicenter in an undersea area. Trafficking ring Police said they had traced an international trafficking ring following the arrest of five foreigners in Attica and Thessaloniki. An inspection of a car in Lagada, Thessaloniki, resulted in the arrest of a Pakistani, 23, who had five fellow Pakistanis in his car. Another two foreigners were also arrested near Lagada. A further two Pakistanis, aged 37 and 38, believed to be the ringleaders, were also arrested, one in Thessaloniki and one in Oinofyta, Attica. Meanwhile, police traced 22 illegal immigrants - Pakistanis and Afghans - near the border town of Evros. They are believed to have come from Turkey. Samaria Gorge The gorge of Samaria on Crete, the longest in Europe, is to reopen to visitors today after being closed due to risk posed by falling rocks, Cretan forest rangers said yesterday. The south side of the gorge, where the problems had occurred, will remain open, weather conditions permitting, Cretan authorities said. Sour milk The Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) ordered the withdrawal yesterday of a canned milk product from a Macro Cash & Carry supermarket in Pallini, east of Athens, found to be unfit for human consumption. More than 4,000 cans of milk imported from Germany and sold under the Aro brand name were found to have gone off, EFET said.

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