NEWS

In Brief

FULL MOON CROWDS

30,000 swamp Acropolis for free nocturnal visit An estimated 30,000 people visited the Acropolis on Tuesday night and early yesterday, taking advantage of an annual Culture Ministry initiative of allowing free access to dozens of ancient sites on the night of the August full moon, seen in this photo above a statue of Athena in central Athens. A record 72 guards were on duty to ensure that visitors did not smoke, consume alcoholic drinks, enter off-limits areas of the ancient citadel or fall to their death. Free concerts were held in most of the other 61 sites around the country that were open for the full moon. FORGOTTEN REFUGEES 40 former civil war guerrillas have entered Greece from FYROM Three days after the temporary suspension of a decades-old ban on the return of a politically and ethnically sensitive category of civil war refugees resident in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, a total of 40 people had taken advantage of the measure by yesterday morning, the Foreign Ministry said. The measure applies to members of the Slavic language-speaking minority of northern Greece who fought on the losing, communist side during the 1946-49 war. Many had aspired to setting up an autonomous state within Greece’s northern province of Macedonia. They will now be allowed into Greece on 20-day visits up to the end of October. «The satisfactory number (of visitors) and the absolutely peaceful fashion in which this measure has been implemented indicate that it has met with full success,» Deputy Foreign Minister Andreas Loverdos said yesterday. «It also proves that extremists on both sides have been ignored.» RUSSIAN MISSILES Deputy claims S-300s don’t work The Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, at the heart of a deep crisis with Turkey, that Greece took delivery of four years ago don’t work, a New Democracy deputy claimed yesterday. In a question to Defense Minister Yiannos Papapantoniou, ND’s Spilios Spiliotopoulos asserted that the missiles still lack an operational capacity due to maintenance problems, corrosion and incompatibility with other missile systems in Greece’s air defense arsenal. The long-range missiles were initially ordered by Cyprus, but ended up in Greece after Turkey threatened to bomb Cypriot military bases where the S-300s were to be installed. Forest fire A large forest fire burned through parts of southeastern Icaria yesterday afternoon but had been brought under control by the evening. Seven firefighting aircraft and three helicopters took part in the effort to put out the blaze on the eastern Aegean island. Fish labels All fish sold in shops will have to carry labels stating the species, whether it was caught in the sea, in fresh water or raised in fish farms and the area in which it was caught, under an Agriculture Ministry decision made public yesterday.