NEWS

In Brief

The UN Security Council yesterday failed to discuss a report on the failure of the UN-mediated talks on Cyprus’s reunification after permanent Council members disagreed over whether to include the text of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s peace plan in the resolution they will announce. The United States and Britain want to draft resolution to keep a mention that the two sides on Cyprus accept the Annan proposal as a binding context for a solution, while Russia, France and Cyprus want the paragraph changed to stress that the Security Council supports the Annan plan as the basis for negotiations for a comprehensive solution. The discussion was postponed till today but could be delayed until next week. WASTE DISPOSAL Proposal for dumps approved, residents ‘have nothing to fear’ The cabinet yesterday approved a proposal by Environment and Public Works Minister Vasso Papandreou to pass a special law to allow the creation of new waste disposal sites to deal with the thousands of tons of garbage produced daily in Athens. Residents of the districts in which the new dumps are to be situated, who have been protesting over the plans, «have nothing to fear,» government spokesman Christos Protopappas claimed yesterday, stressing that exhaustive environmental studies would be conducted before the sites are set up. ENVIRONMENT EC cautions Greece on GMOs The European Commission yesterday cautioned Greece and another 11 EU states over their violation of EU legislation to curb the spread of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the environment. Greece, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Austria and Finland all failed to implement measures to restrict the spread of GMOs – including the establishment of a risk monitoring body, and the dissemination of information to the public – by last October’s deadline. The Commission’s «considered opinion» is one step before legal action. Gaza The Foreign Ministry, in its capacity as European Union president, yesterday condemned what it called «extra-judicial executions» carried out by the Israeli army in the Gaza strip. «At such a crucial moment for the region and shortly after the recent appointment of a Palestinian prime minister, we consider that extra-judicial executions, which also caused severe casualties among innocent civilians, are rather unwise and counterproductive,» a ministry statement said. It also called on the Israeli government to «show ultimate restraint to avoid such actions.» Terrorism prosecutor The Supreme Court’s Supreme Legal Council decided yesterday to renew the term of the prosecutor investigating terrorist groups, Ioannis Diotis, for another year. His term was due to expire on April 17. Diotis has held the position since 1994. Attiki Odos Drivers using the Attiki Odos Athens ring road will experience disruptions on certain sections of the road from tomorrow until Monday – between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. – due to roadwork. Traffic will be suspended between Kifissias Avenue and the airport, and between Kymis Avenue and the airport. Traffic police will be on hand to instruct drivers. Bill payments Citizens will be able to pay their water, electricity and telephone (EYDAP, PPC, OTE) bills directly at special machines at post offices from next month, the Hellenic Post Office said yesterday. Three machines are to be installed next month – two in central Athens and one in Piraeus – with the aim of eventually equipping post offices across the country. Iraqi migrants Lesvos coast guards yesterday detained 11 Iraqi illegal immigrants and two Turkish nationals on a Turkish fishing boat off the island’s coast. Abdullah Abuzer Kaplan, 28, and Mehmet Salih Ozgun, 43, were charged with migrant smuggling. Earthquake A strong earthquake which caused injuries and panic in Turkey’s western town of Izmir at 3.40 a.m. yesterday caused concern among residents of the nearby island of Samos. No damage was reported.