NEWS

In Brief

TURKISH VIOLATIONS

Jets violate air space for third day in a row; dogfights break out Turkish fighter jets violated Greek air space for the third day in a row yesterday, sources said. Ten formations of Turkish jets infringed on the Athens Flight Information Region 15 times and Greek national air space in the Aegean 20 times yesterday. A total of 25 Turkish jets, seven of which were armed, were intercepted by the same number of Greek fighters. In six instances, simulated dogfights broke out. WEATHER HAVOC Snow, rain causes chaos on roads; state of emergency on Zakynthos Snowfall in northern Greece yesterday caused traffic problems across much of western and central Macedonia, where drivers were obliged to use snow chains on their cars. The Thessaloniki-Kozani, Kozani-Ioannina and Florina-Kastoria national roads were also badly affected. Larissa’s mayor-elect, Loukas Katsaros, yesterday asked for the intervention of the town prosecutor to punish those responsible for the lack of necessary infrastructure work which resulted in the flooding of the Larissa-Thessaloniki national road last week. Meanwhile, a state of emergency was declared on the Ionian island of Zakynthos following heavy rainfall. HUNTING BAN Ministry ‘respects’ court decision The Agriculture Ministry yesterday issued a statement saying it «respected» Thursday’s decision by the Council of State to suspend its earlier decision allowing the hunting of animals and birds to continue until February 28. The ruling, which followed a suit by environmental groups, said no studies had been conducted on the effect of the length of the hunting season on game populations and on the risk posed to the reproduction of protected species. The ministry said it «was closely examining all aspects of the decision and will take the necessary measures.» Missing soldier The army yesterday activated an underwater detection device to investigate the bed of Lake Volvi, near Rentina in central Macedonia, for any trace of a cadet officer missing since December 6 when he disappeared trying to cross a river on a night training exercise. Witnesses said Achilleas Mimilidis, 27, had been swept away by a strong current. Mimilidis, based in Veria, had been seconded as an instructor for an advanced training session for new recruits. Frogman honored A Greek navy frogman, who risked his life to save an American crew member of the USS Lincoln aircraft carrier in Bahrain just over a week ago, was yesterday honored for his bravery during an official ceremony on the carrier. Ilias Valassis was off duty on December 6 – the day the navy honors its patron saint, Nicholas – when he leapt off the helipad of the moored navy frigate Adrias to save a US sailor who had fallen into the sea. Valassis was awarded a citation by the commander of the 5th US Fleet, Admiral John Kelly. Soccer draw. AEK will face Spain’s Malaga and Panathinaikos Belgium’s Anderlecht in the fourth round of the UEFA Cup, to be played on February 20 and 27. Panathinaikos, which defeated Slovan Liberec 1-0 on Thursday night for a 3-2 aggregate win, will play the first leg at home, while AEK, which defeated Maccabi Haifa 4-1 away (8-1 aggregate) on Thursday will play the first leg away. A third Greek team, PAOK, was eliminated after losing 4-0 to Slavia Prague (4-1 aggregate). Migrant centers The problem of inadequate heating at immigrant reception centers and border guard stations in northern Greece will have been addressed by Christmas, Public Order Ministry General Secretary Dimitris Efstathiadis promised yesterday, following a tour of facilities in the northern prefectures of Evros and Rhodope. The temperatures are so low in some centers, such as that at Peplo, that migrants have been transferred elsewhere. Border guards have prefabricated huts as offices, which lack even basic heating, according to the chief of the guards’ national union. Roadworks Traffic on Kymis Avenue will be suspended between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. today between the junctions with Spyros Louis Street and Alsoupoleos due to roadworks.