NEWS

In Brief

CONFLICT OF INTERESTS

Court proposes ND MP lose post for practicing law A Supreme Special Court rapporteur yesterday proposed that opposition New Democracy MP Alexandros Lykourezos, who is a lawyer, be stripped of his parliamentary post based on a new law banning MPs from holding second jobs. The proposal came after one of Lykourezos’s constituents filed a suit against him for continuing to practice law. Lykourezos, who says he will seek recourse with the European Court of Human Rights should the Greek court strip him of his seat, has been participating in the ongoing November 17 trial at Korydallos Prison. On Tuesday, PASOK MP and sexologist Thanos Askitis voluntarily resigned his parliamentary seat in order to continue his medical career. This followed a suit by one of his constituents. CYPRUS De-mining work to begin, soldier visits to north condemned The Cypriot Cabinet yesterday decided to clear minefields on the Greek side of the Green Line dividing Cyprus. Work will start as soon as possible, government spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said. Meanwhile, Defense Minister Koulis Mavronikolas condemned trips by officers and men serving in the National Guard to the Turkish-occupied north since several checkpoints along the Green Line were opened two weeks ago. IRAQI AID Greece asks USA for air access Deputy Foreign Minister Andreas Loverdos yesterday reiterated to US Ambassador Thomas Miller Greece’s request for the USA to grant it access to Baghdad by air so that it can deliver humanitarian aid to the Iraqi capital. Loverdos repeated the request in view of the arrival in Baghdad earlier yesterday of an aircraft from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Office. Late mail The National Post and Telecommunication Commission (EETT) yesterday imposed a fine of 220,000 euros on the Postal Service for inadequate service during the first six months of 2002. Only 48.69 percent of first class domestic mail was delivered within one working day as opposed to the 77 percent stipulated by the government, EETT said, adding that service fell short of delivering incoming mail from abroad within three days of it being posted. Bus strike Strike action planned for today by the capital’s blue-bus drivers was yesterday deemed illegal by an Athens court. It was unclear yesterday whether the drivers had responded to the ruling. Boxer convicted A Patras court yesterday passed a three-year jail sentence, suspended for three years, on a 20-year-old boxer charged in connection with the death of an 18-year-old fellow boxer during a match in the western town in September 2000. Giorgos Miliordos died following an irregular punch by Tassos Berdesis, the court ruled. Sakis Panayiakis, who refereed the match, received the same sentence. Jewish memorial The chairman of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki, David Saltiel, yesterday reiterated a request that the anniversary of the World War II mass deportation by Nazi forces from the northern city of 50,000 Jews be declared a national memorial day. A service will be held at the city’s central synagogue at noon on Sunday, May 11 to mark the 60th anniversary of the deportation. Greek-Turkish talks Greek and Turkish diplomats are to convene at the Foreign Ministry today for the seventh session of the ministry’s Greek-Turkish Steering Committee. They are to review progress in bilateral relations in economy, trade, fighting illegal immigration, police cooperation, tackling natural disasters, environmental protection and culture. Turkish diplomat Deniz Bulukbasi – whom November 17 tried to assassinate when he was Ankara’s Charge d’ Affaires in Athens in 1991 – joined the Greek Foreign Ministry’s political director, Anastassios Skopelitis, and his Turkish counterpart, Ugur Ziyal, for a 10th round of exploratory talks on Greek-Turkish issues in Athens. Afghan child A C-130 military transport will this afternoon fly a 5-year-old Afghan boy to Greece for treatment for head injuries he sustained during the war.