NEWS

In Brief

FLIGHT DISRUPTIONS

Many cancellations on Monday as controllers stage 24-hour strike A large number of the flights due to leave Athens Airport on Monday will be canceled as air-traffic controllers join a 24-hour strike called by the civil servants’ union (ADEDY), unionists said yesterday. There will also be flight disruptions on Thursday when air-traffic controllers are to stage a work stoppage from noon to 4 p.m. Meanwhile, Aegean Airlines complained of alleged unfair treatment by the Civil Aviation Authority which, it said, has forbidden it from conducting any international flights during strikes. Emergency staff should be on standby to cover in the event of strikes, the airline said. BORDER CONTROLS Greece spent 600 million euros last year to keep immigrants out The cost of policing Greece’s borders – which coincide with the European Union’s southeastern frontier – in 2002 reached 600 million euros, Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis told a Foreign Ministry conference on managing migration in Athens on Thursday. He called for balanced policies to trackle illegal immigration while promoting managed migrant flows and integration. OLYMPIC PIRACY 13,500 fake 2004 T-shirts seized The largest haul yet of «pirated» Olympic Games merchandise was seized from the premises of an import firm in central Athens on Wednesday in a joint operation between Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) officers and the Olympic Games Organizing Committee, the committee said yesterday. SDOE officers confiscated 13,500 T-shirts and other items of clothing bearing the official emblem of the olive branch or the Athens 2004 mascots Phevos and Athena from the premises near Koumoudourou Square, making several arrests. No ATMs National Bank of Greece ATMs will not be functioning between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Sunday due to works to upgrade the bank’s network. Passaris trial The trial in Romania of one of Greece’s most wanted criminals, Costas Passaris, for two murders during a November 2001 robbery in a Bucharest foreign exchange shop is to resume on June 6 after a Bucharest court yesterday rejected as evidence the results of a lie-detector test (conducted on him and his alleged accomplice Mioara Badila). The court also demanded a DNA test on the trousers Passaris was said to be wearing on the day of the raid. Passaris, 27, is wanted for the Athens murder of two policemen in February 2001. Oil slicks European Commission Vice President Loyola de Palacio yesterday praised Greece’s role in the decision by the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) on Thursday night to raise compensation to victims of major oil slicks. The IMO decided to increase payouts to $950 million from the current cap of $180 million from the International Oil Pollution Compensation fund. De Palacio is taking part in an informal meeting of EU transport and merchant marine ministers. Prince Charles Prince Charles yesterday returned to Britain following a five-day stay at the Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos. Dexameni cafe The traditional Dexameni Square cafe in Kolonaki, central Athens, was yesterday demolished but is to be replaced by a similar cafe by the end of July, the Athens municipality said. Works to construct a building covering 60 square meters are expected to cost around 140,000 euros. Attiki station Piraeus-bound trains on the Piraeus-Kifissia electric railway (ISAP) will not be stopping at Attiki station as of Monday when works to rebuild the platform commence, ISAP said yesterday. Libel costs Police in Athens yesterday caught up with journalist and former editor Spyros Karadzaferis who has yet to comply with a court ruling to pay 29,347 euros in libel compensation to PASOK MP Theodoros Katsanevas. Karadzaferis, who had referred to the deputy as a «disgrace» in reports in his now-defunct Athinaiki newspaper, had been told he would be detained unless he paid the compensation. But, sources said yesterday, he was released after he and Katsanevas agreed to settle the matter between themselves.