NEWS

In Brief

A decision earlier this week to restrict to 500 tons per day the garbage dumped at Athens’s only landfill was reversed late last night during a session of Ano Liosia’s municipal council, opening the way for rubbish collectors to start removing heaps of festering trash from the capital’s streets. Ano Liosia Mayor Nikos Papadimas said the move was made in view of a pledge by the Public Works Ministry to pass a law by the end of the month designating new landfills. This will help alleviate the capital’s acute waste management problem. WEATHER DAMAGE Greece asks EU for 157 mln euros to boost its budget for compensation Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis yesterday submitted to the European Commission a request for 157 million euros in financial aid from the EU’s Solidarity Fund to address damage suffered by crops and other assets during the spell of harsh weather from January to March. The government cannot cover the entire cost of the damage, estimated at 312 million euros, due to its obligations to complete certain Olympic-related works and projects linked to the Third Community Support Framework, an Economy Ministry statement said yesterday. UNIVERSITY DEGREES Equating TEIs with AEIs ‘illegal’ Equating the country’s technical higher education institutes (TEIs) with universities (AEIs) is illegal, according to a decision by the Council of State made public yesterday. However, as the decision was only marginally approved – by three votes to two – the matter will be forwarded to the court’s plenary session, sources said. Cross-border waters European Union environment ministers discussed the effective management of cross-border water resources at the beginning yesterday of a two-day informal summit at Lagonisi, south of Athens. Meanwhile, environmentalists are calling on Greece, Albania and FYROM to coordinate efforts for more effective water management at the Prespes Lakes. Frigate change The Greek navy’s S-type frigate Bouboulina yesterday sailed into the Spanish port of Cartagena where it replaces its sister frigate Elli in NATO’s Operation Active Endeavor, launched in October 2001 to monitor shipping in the eastern Mediterranean in the wake of the September 11 attacks in the USA. F-16s arrive The air force’s 115th Fighter Wing at the Cretan port of Hania yesterday took delivery of six out of a total of 60 F-16 Block 52+ jets. The F-16s replace A7 bombers which have already been transferred to other air force units. Another 30 F-16s are due to be delivered by Christmas, and the remaining 24 will arrive by the end of April 2004. Car plunge Rescue workers yesterday recovered the body of a drowned 54-year-old man who had earlier driven his car into the sea in Peraia, on the outskirts of Thessaloniki. An Albanian national who tried to save Giorgos Moschovos by smashing the window of his sinking car told police the 54-year-old had asked him to leave him alone. Robberies Two would-be robbers who broke into a bank in central Athens yesterday at 3.15 p.m. – 25 minutes after staff had gone home – found all the safes locked and were forced to flee, police said. Meanwhile, another duo made off with 10,000 euros following an armed raid on a bank in the Athens suburb of Ano Liosia, while two others fled with 25,000 euros after holding up a bank in the Mesogeia town of Markopoulo. Quake aid A six-strong team of medics from Doctors of the World’s Greek office set off for southeastern Turkey yesterday to provide first aid to victims of Thursday’s 6.4 magnitude earthquake that killed at least 115 people. The doctors took with them medical supplies and blankets. Military visit General James L. Jones, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander of Europe (SACEUR), is due to arrive in Athens tomorrow for a two-day official visit.