NEWS

In Brief

RELIGIOUS SQUABBLE

Minister urges Orthodox churches to overcome their differences Merchant Marine Minister Giorgos Paschalidis yesterday called on the Church of Greece and the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate to settle their differences, arguing that «we cannot afford to create cracks in the Church.» His remarks came during celebrations on the island of Tinos – attended by the head of the Church of Greece, Archbishop Christodoulos – for the feast of the Dormition of the Virgin. The Church of Greece and the patriarchate are locked in a power struggle over control of parts of the country liberated from the Turks after 1912. Thousands of pilgrims flocked to Tinos for the festivities, which included a procession of an icon of the Virgin traditionally believed to work miracles. MORE SALMONELLA Children’s holiday camp closes after outbreak A children’s holiday camp on the northern fringes of Athens was ordered closed on Thursday after a series of gastroenteritis incidents was traced to the salmonella bacterium. Health Minister Costas Stefanis announced that the camp for National Bank of Greece employees’ children at Dionysos was temporarily shut down following a decision by East Attica regional authorities. The incident followed an embarrassing gastroenteritis outbreak last week among German rowers participating in an Olympic test event at Schinias. Salmonella was detected in the food of the Nea Makri hotel the team had been staying in. CYPRUS PROPERTY SUITS Bishop sees ‘high treason’ A senior Cypriot bishop yesterday accused 15 Greek Cypriots who apparently tabled lawsuits with officials in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus for the return of their seized property of «high treason.» Nikiforos, Bishop of Kykkos, told a congregation yesterday that such bids would undermine efforts to establish a peace agreement on Cyprus. At least six of the people on the list have claimed to have been tricked and said they thought the suits were to have been tabled with United Nations officials. They added that they did not recognize the authority of courts in the occupied north. Bank bombed A homemade bomb consisting of gas canisters taped together exploded early on Thursday outside a National Bank of Greece cash machine on the corner of Doukissis Plakentias and Zinonos streets in Halandri, northern Athens. There were no injuries and the blast caused minor damage. Nobody claimed responsibility for the attack. Balcony shooting Two gunmen armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles shot dead a man on the balcony of his house early on Thursday in the Thessaloniki district of Kalamaria. Georgios Tsakalidis, 40, was killed instantly while a friend who was sitting with him on the balcony, Pavlos Xinitidis, 41, managed to survive by diving to the floor. Rooftop death A woman aged about 40 was found dead, apparently murdered, on Thursday on the roof of a block of flats on Paparigopoulou Street in the Athens district of Kypseli. The body, which was naked, bore several stab wounds. The victim’s identity was still unknown yesterday. Antiquities Police in the northern town of Serres yesterday arrested a local man – only identified as E. Th., 39 – in possession of 146 ancient coins, believed to have been illegally excavated from archaeological sites in northern Greece.