NEWS

In Brief

TERROR SUSPECTS TRANSFERRED

Three ELA detainees moved into Korydallos special men’s cells Three alleged Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA) suspects were yesterday transferred from the women’s wing of Korydallos jail into special cells in the men’s prison. Christos Tsigaridas, 64, the group’s suspected top decision-maker, Kimolos Mayor Angeletos Kanas, 52, allegedly ELA’s master bomber, and civil engineer Costas Agapiou, 56, had been put in temporary detention in the women’s wing last week to allow for the repair of a broken sewage pipe in the men’s prison which had made their intended cells uninhabitable. A fourth ELA suspect, tourist agency employee Irini Athanassaki, 48, remains in the women’s wing with November 17 suspect Angeliki Sotiropoulou. CYPRUS SECURITY Papandreou pushes Yakis for launch of Greek-Turkish talks Foreign Minister George Papandreou yesterday proposed to his Turkish counterpart Yasar Yakis that talks on how their countries can contribute to settling security concerns on Cyprus should begin next week, Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis said. Papandreou stressed that talks – between the general secretaries of the two countries’ foreign ministries – should begin as soon as possible and alternate between Athens and Ankara, Beglitis said. «We are ready to begin talks and have the political will to do so,» the spokesman added. DOCTORS STRIKE Hospitals on emergency staff today State hospitals across the country will be operating on emergency staff today as doctors hold a 24-hour strike. Protesters want the government to invest more in the health sector and to grant more permanent contracts to their colleagues. EKAB transfer A man who suffered a heart attack on the Aegean islet of Tinos early yesterday morning was transferred to the island of Syros for medical attention aboard a navy missile boat at the request of the National First Aid Center (EKAB), the navy said. The vessel completed the transfer despite winds of up to 8 Beaufort, the navy added. The government on Tuesday suspended all night flights by EKAB ambulance helicopters after one of the center’s Agusta A109Es crashed off the island of Icaria on its way to pick up a patient. Sino-Greek ties Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis and his Chinese counterpart Xiang Huaicheng, who is on an official visit to Athens, yesterday agreed on the need to boost economic ties between their two countries. Christodoulakis drew attention to efforts to increase Greek exports to China and stressed the need for more investment in Greece by Chinese companies. Togo The Foreign Ministry yesterday issued a statement on behalf of the EU presidency calling on political parties in an obscure West African republic to respect democratic principles in forthcoming elections. «The EU notes the decision by the Togolese National Assembly… to approve amendments to Article 59 of the Togolese Constitution and the relevance of this decision to presidential elections in June,» a ministry statement read. «The EU is willing to support electoral preparations in Togo, provided that a broad-based agreement between the political forces has been reached on the conditions for democratic elections,» the statement added. Togo is situated between Ghana and Benin. Pitch tactics An air force helicopter was yesterday afternoon sent to hover above a sodden football pitch in Iraklion, Crete, to dry it out ahead of a friendly match between the Greek and Norwegian national teams. The intention was that the air generated by the helicopter’s propellers would dry the rain-soaked grass before the match kicked off at 8 p.m. Greece won the match 1-0. Weather woes Municipal and prefectural teams in many mountainous parts of the country yesterday used snowplows to clear roads of the heavy snow which has caused chaos on the regional road network over the last few days. Meanwhile, more than 20 villages in central Greece remained cut off. The village of Kato Nevrokopi near Drama, eastern Macedonia, registered a temperature low of minus 6 degrees Celsius. The weather is expected to improve from tomorrow.