NEWS

In Brief

KOKKALIS CLEARED?

Magistrate probing spy charges proposes the case should be shelved The investigating magistrate handling the probe into allegations of businessman Socrates Kokkalis’s alleged collaboration with the former East German secret service, the Stasi, has recommended to a prosecutor that the case against Kokkalis should be shelved, officials said yesterday, adding that the recommendation has been forwarded to a higher judicial authority. Investigating magistrate Giorgos Pournaras deemed that there was not enough evidence to back a series of criminal charges against Kokkalis, including alleged espionage, embezzlement, money laundering and fraud, the same officials said. NO CREDIT State-insured patients to pay full price for subsidized medicine State-insured patients will have to start paying full price for medicine subsidized by the government from today, following yesterday’s decision by pharmacists in Athens and Piraeus to stop providing medication on credit. Unionists decided to go ahead with their threatened action due to the State’s failure to repay debts owed to pharmacies across the country. «At the same time, the State expects us to pay tax on income which we have not collected,» the president of the Attica Association of Pharmacists, Constantinos Lourantos, told Kathimerini. SUSPECT COW Results of BSE tests due today The results of tests on tissue samples from a cow – whose meat is believed to be infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and which had been sold for consumption in northern Greece last month – are due to arrive at the University of Thessaloniki today, the Agriculture Ministry said yesterday. Samples of the carcass were sent to Britain’s Central Veterinary Laboratory at Weybridge in Surrey at the end of last week after tests in Thessaloniki found the Czech-born animal had died of a form of encephalitis. BSE is the bovine variant of the fatal mind-wasting Creuzfeldt-Jakob disease. New York parade A parade celebrating Greek Independence Day in New York’s Manhattan district on Sunday was addressed by Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Magriotis and attended by New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In his speech, Magriotis paid tribute to the American volunteers who fought in Greece’s battle for independence from the Turks. Attendants displayed slogans for and against the war in Iraq, as well as the flags of Greek football clubs. Air space violations Nine formations of Turkish fighter jets yesterday violated the Athens Flight Information Region nine times and Greek national air space five times in the northern and central Aegean and east of Rhodes, Greek military officials said. In all cases, the 25 Turkish jets were chased off by as many Greek aircraft, resulting in simulated dogfights six times. There were similar incidents last Thursday and Friday. Netanya attack The Foreign Ministry, in its role as EU president, yesterday condemned Sunday’s suicide bombing in the Israeli resort of Netanya which injured more than 40 people.The bombing «underlines the necessity of immediate and full implementation,» of the road map to creating an internationally recognized Palestinian state, a ministry statement said. Price hikes Prices of fresh fruit and vegetables have increased by up to 129.45 percent since the beginning of the year, according to Development Ministry figures made public yesterday. The prices of peppers, spring onions, cabbages and spinach have increased most.