NEWS

In Brief

NEWS BOYCOTT

President will take part, protesters discuss code of ethics President Costis Stephanopoulos yesterday said he would participate in a boycott of television newscasts from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. today following a meeting with representatives of the youth groups of PASOK, New Democracy, Synaspismos Left Coalition and the Social Democratic Movement (DIKKI) who have called for the action. Government spokesman Christos Protopappas discussed the quality of TV news with the groups’ representatives in a debate centering on a code of ethics governing quality, the viability of commercial breaks during news bulletins, and TV channels’ possible obligation to start and end newscasts at the same times. EX-KING PAID Constantine’s lawyer collects cash, complains about three-day delay The lawyer for ex-king Constantine yesterday collected three money orders for a total of 13.7 million euros from the tax office, compensation ordered by the European Court. A three-day delay in payment – pointed out by the ex-king’s lawyer – was due to procedural delays for which the ex-king’s family is to blame, Deputy Economy Minister Apostolos Fotiadis said yesterday. The cash was deposited with the Bank of Greece which transferred it to Piraeus Bank which will then send it to an English bank, sources said yesterday. FOWL PEST Dutch problem ‘not a threat’ A flu virus which has struck poultry in the Netherlands is not a threat to Greek consumers, Deputy Agriculture Minister Fotis Hadzimichalis said yesterday after ordering the state veterinary service to conduct inspections on Greek poultry. «There is no risk posed to public health as this virus (chicken flu) does not affect people,» Hadzimichalis said. Checks are to be conducted on Dutch chickens and eggs imported to Greece after March 1. Greece only imports small quantities from the Netherlands. The European Commission banned the export of all live chickens and hatching eggs from Holland as the round-the-clock preventive slaughter at suspect farms began. Drugs summit Foreign Minister George Papandreou is tomorrow to open a two-day international summit on tackling drug addiction more effectively by implementing more effective policies at the domestic and EU level. The summit – a Greek initiative to be held at the Zappeion Hall in central Athens in association with the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction – will focus on improving the interaction between scientific research on drug addiction, practical approaches to tackling it, and government and EU policies. Well death A team of 15 firemen yesterday morning extracted the body of a 71-year-old man from a 15-meter-deep well in the village of Ambelakia on the island of Salamina. It was unclear whether Evangelos Diolis died from his fall into the well or whether he drowned. Missing pupil A 13-year-old boy missing from his Thessaloniki home since Tuesday night left a note saying he had decided to leave following an argument with his parents over his bad grades, police said. There has been no sign of the boy – who has not been named – since he left for a cramming school. Data protection The Supreme Court’s honorary vice president, Dimitris Gourgourakis, was yesterday sworn in as the new president of the Hellenic Data Protection Authority in the presence of Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos. The authority’s new members were also officially appointed during the ceremony. Sledgehammer raid Two armed robbers made off with an undetermined sum of money yesterday afternoon after smashing their way into a bank in the Athenian district of Nea Smyrni using sledgehammers. The unidentified duo fled on a motorcycle. There were no reports of any injuries. Strike Public sector workers are to stage a 24-hour strike on April 3 for higher salaries and more state funding for the social services and health sectors.