Military cooperation to be boosted following NATO-brokered agreement Greece and Turkey have agreed to boost their military cooperation to demonstrate their good will despite recent tensions over air-space violations and territorial rights in the Aegean, NATO Secretary-General George Robertson said in Brussels yesterday. The two countries «have agreed on cooperation between their national defense colleges… on subjects of mutual interest, such as NATO issues, military doctrines, crisis management, peacekeeping, natural disasters, environmental issues and others,» Robertson said, adding that there would also be an exchange of personnel at training centers. REMEMBERING 1974 Politicians pay respects ahead of anniversary of fall of dictatorship Political leaders yesterday paid their respects to those who had fought for the restoration of democracy in Greece ahead of today’s 29th anniversary of the fall of the military dictatorship in 1974. Pro-democracy fighters allowed Greece to develop into a «leading player on the international stage,» Prime Minister Costas Simitis said, adding that «Greece’s (EU) presidency proved… the capabilities of our country to undertake an important role and to gain the respect of all.» Opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis said, «It is the duty of us all to protect a state with robust modern institutions, and equality before the law.» SECURITY FORCES Protest rally in Athens today Police officers, firemen and coast guard officials are to stage a protest in central Athens today, demanding that their jobs be declared «dangerous and a health risk.» This would allow them to retire much earlier. The protesters have threatened to stage a march in front of the presidential mansion where President Costis Stephanopoulos is due to deliver his speech for the 29th anniversary of the 1974 restoration of democracy in Greece. Hydrofoil accident The captain of a hydrofoil with 75 passengers on board that crashed into rocks near the port of Volos on Monday evening is to face a misdemeanors court next Tuesday after his hearing was postponed yesterday. Georgios Antoniou, 50, who was released from detention yesterday, is charged with causing a shipwreck, causing grievous bodily harm, and violating navigational regulations by traveling with an inadequately trained crew. Socialist youth Thousands of young socialists gathered yesterday for the launch of an international youth festival in Kamena Vourla, near Lamia, yesterday. It is hosted by Greece’s ruling PASOK party. US visas Greek citizens applying for US visas will no longer be required to make a personal appearance at the US Embassy in Athens as of August 1, the embassy said yesterday. Under the new rules, applicants renewing their visas within 12 months of the date of expiry, as well as applicants under 16 and those over 60, will be able to drop off their applications at the embassy rather than wait for an interview with a consular officer, the embassy said. The new regulations apply only to Greek citizens who meet the above criteria. Kidnappers sought Police in Attica are searching for three Albanians they believe are behind the kidnapping on June 2 of a 34-year-old Ukrainian woman who has not been seen since, the Athens News Agency reported yesterday. Tritan Pascho, 28, Erion Eskiu, 21, and Astrit Likai, 36, eluded arrest, the ANA said. Galena Oleynik was kidnapped from Glyfada after witnessing the murder – by Pascho and another Albanian currently in Korydallos Prison – of a Tunisian man with whom she was living in Ilioupolis. Police fear Oleynik may be dead. School fire A fire at a secondary school on the island of Thasos early yesterday morning caused an estimated 50,000 euros’ worth of damage to computers, desks and other school facilities. The cause of the blaze was yesterday unclear. There were no injuries. Trains The ISAP railway announced yesterday that the Tavros-Piraeus route will stop at 11 p.m. today and tomorrow and will again stop at the same time from next Monday to Friday.