NEWS

Brussels protest over poisoned Athens strays

Members of international animal welfare groups yesterday demonstrated outside the Greek Embassy in Brussels to protest at the New Year’s Eve poisoning of dozens of stray dogs and cats in central Athens. Protesters handed Ambassador Yiannis Corandis a petition signed by over 48,000 people that called for Greece «not to allow the poisoning of animals.» Corandis said the group poisoning – in the National Gardens and around Zappeion Hall, the official seat of Greece’s EU presidency – that started on New Year’s Day was «an isolated incident.» Similar protests were to be held in Britain, the Netherlands and Canada. Deputy Agriculture Minister Fotis Hadzimichalis denied claims of an organized plan to kill off Athens strays ahead of the 2004 Olympics. «We must condemn this systematic effort by some people to slander our country,» he said.