NEWS

In Brief

CONGO

EU presidency calls for dialogue after massacre in Drodro The Foreign Ministry, in its capacity as European Union president, yesterday condemned last week’s slaughter of hundreds of civilians in and around the village of Drodro in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ituri region. «The European Union… asks all parties to facilitate humanitarian access to the population affected by the conflict… bring the perpetrators of those crimes immediately to justice… and take the opportunity presented to join in the political process in the their country, rather than resorting to violence,» a ministry statement read. Interethnic violence stemming from land disputes has long been common in Ituri which borders on Uganda. MIDDLE EAST Powell and Papandreou discuss ‘road map’ Foreign Minister George Papandreou and US Secretary of State Colin Powell yesterday discussed developments in the Middle East. Papandreou noted the EU’s wish for the road map for peace to be published soon while Powell, in their telephone conversation, asked the Greek minister to press the Palestinians to form a Cabinet under Prime Minister Abu Mazen, Greek diplomatic sources said. STORE HOURS Extended holiday shopping Attica retailers yesterday announced extended store hours in the countdown to Orthodox Easter. Supermarkets will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. from next Monday, April 21 until Thursday, April 24, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Good Friday (April 25) and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Easter Saturday. Other stores will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. this Thursday and Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. next Monday to Thursday, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Good Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Easter Saturday. All stores will be closed on Monday, April 28. Mercy flights Military C-130 transport aircraft and Super Puma rescue helicopters undertook the transfer to hospitals of a total of 22 people in need of medical attention between April 7 and 13, air force officials said yesterday. KKE on Cyprus The Greek Communist Party (KKE) yesterday responded to criticism of its MEPs voting against Cyprus’s accession to the European Union from the leader of the Synaspismos Left Coalition. Nikos Constantopoulos «has evidently forgotten that KKE had also opposed Greece’s EU accession,» the party said in a statement, adding that the Synaspismos leader could refer to the official statement by three KKE deputies for clarification of the reasons behind the negative vote. Fraudulent collectors Doctors Without Borders staff yesterday warned against unidentified fraudsters who have been collecting money – ostensibly on behalf of the medical relief organization – from residents of Xanthi and in other parts of Thrace. A Xanthi-based member of the organization yesterday appealed to prospective contributors to make any donations directly into one of the Doctors Without Borders bank accounts in Greece. FYROM donation The Greek government yesterday donated a second 325,000-euro mobile angiogram machine to a state hospital in Skopje. The machine was presented to the hospital’s director by Greek Ambassador Ioannis Economou during a ceremony attended by the defense and health ministers of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Vlado Buckovski and Rexhep Selmani. Armed robbery A lone assailant, armed with a hand grenade and an automatic handgun, made off with 26,775 euros following a raid on a Thessaloniki bank yesterday morning. The robber fled on the back of a waiting motorcycle being driven by an accomplice. Tourism recovery Tourism in Cyprus is showing a recovery, following a drop in reservations before and during the war in Iraq, Cypriot Minister for Trade and Tourism Giorgos Lillikas said yesterday. Lillikas noted a rise in charter flight bookings and said he expected lost ground to be gained by last-minute bookings for the summer.