NEWS

In Brief

BUS CRASH

Relatives of victim sue KTEL for 2.1 million euros The relatives of 47-year-old Vassilis Nasioutzik, one of 16 people killed when an intercity bus plunged off a bridge and into a river in northern Greece on February 22, yesterday filed a suit with a Thessaloniki court for 2.1 million euros in compensation from KTEL, the bus operating firm. Police blame the driver, who was among the victims, for the accident. REFINERY DEATH Worker, 53, fatally burned after explosion at plant A 53-year-old worker at Hellenic Petroleum’s oil refinery in Aspropyrgos, Vassileios Karavassileiou, died of burns he sustained in an explosion in a changing room in the coastal refinery early yesterday morning. Hellenic Petroleum said it was investigating the blast. EMBASSY IN IRAQ Staff staying put The Greek ambassador and other embassy staff in Baghdad will not leave their posts before a war breaks out in Iraq, government spokesman Telemachos Hytiris said yesterday. «We are there now and we will stay there, at least until hostilities begin,» Hytiris said, adding that most other embassies in the Iraqi capital had already been evacuated. Hytiris reiterated that Greek citizens should cancel any planned trips to Iraq. FM at UN Foreign Minister George Papandreou said yesterday, after attending United Nations Security Council talks on Iraq, that he could not see any scope for compromise in the conflicting views of the council’s members. Papandreou was due to meet with US Secretary of State Colin Powell and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan later yesterday in New York. Anti-war strike The first day of a war against Iraq will be met by a general strike in all hospitals and clinics in Attica, unionists representing doctors in Athens and Piraeus said yesterday. Protest rallies opposing an imminent war in Iraq are to take place in Athens and Thessaloniki next Saturday when similar demonstrations are scheduled to be held all over the world, the Greek branch of the European Social Forum said yesterday. Demonstrations are also to be held in Souda Bay, Aktion and Larissa next Sunday, the group said. Palestinian appointment Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis yesterday expressed the «deep satisfaction» of Greece’s EU presidency at the appointment of senior Palestinian Authority official Mahmoud Abbas as Palestinian prime minister. The appointment, decided on by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, «creates the necessary preconditions for the opening of a road toward a peaceful solution based on UN Security resolutions and the existence of two states,» Beglitis said.