NEWS

In Brief

TOURIST HURT

Briton on life support in Corfu after fight with countryman A British tourist was on life support in a Corfu hospital yesterday following a brawl in the resort of Lefkimmi with another Briton whom police are seeking, reports said. The victim, identified as 25-year-old John Christopher in an initial Mega Channel report, had received multiple blows to his head and body and later underwent a tracheotomy but was stable, according to hospital officials. Greek National Tourism Organization President Yiannis Patellis and International Federation of Tour Operators President Andrew Cooper pledged cooperation to crack down on the antics of drunken Britons in Greece during a meeting in Athens on Tuesday. YOUNG OFFENDERS Minister considers reforms aimed at rehabilitation Proposed reforms to legislation governing underage offenders foresee the establishment of care centers and the recruitment of 157 staff to prepare the youngsters to rejoin society, Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos said yesterday. A cross-party parliamentary committee approved the proposed reforms in principle but expressed its concern over the lack of existing infrastructure to implement them. The draft bill also provides motives for young offenders to change their ways, offering to strike drug offenses from their criminal records if they do not repeat the offense for five years. PAROLE APPEAL Killer husband served 16 years A man serving a life sentence for a murder that shocked Greece in 1987 yesterday appealed to be released on parole. Panayiotis Frantzis was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his 18-year-old wife in the Athenian district of Patissia. Frantzis killed Zoi Garmani during an argument and then cut her into pieces, disposing of the body parts in the trash, on June 24, 1987. Her remains were found later by someone looking for stamps in the garbage. Frantzis, a student of economics, claimed to have killed his wife by accident and to have dismembered her when he panicked and tried to hide the body. His appeal is to be discussed over the next few weeks. Greece-Hungary Hungarian President Ferenc Madl and Prime Minister Costas Simitis met yesterday and agreed to boost bilateral ties. Simitis stressed Greece’s readiness to help Hungary adapt to the demands of an expanding Europea Union. Strike salary The president of the country’s largest labor organization, the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE), yesterday called for legislation to ensure that days when employees join strike action deemed illegal by the country’s courts, are not deducted from their allocated vacation days. This should apply until the Supreme Court rules on the appeal against the original court ruling, Christos Polyzogopoulos said. Fuel traders Just two days after striking a deal with the government over the thorny issue of installing cash registers at gas stations, gas station owners yesterday maintained that the registers the government is planning to install on gas station pumps are not in line with EU legislation. The Federation of Greek Gas Station Owners asked the Finance Ministry whether it had briefed the European Commission about the «innovative» devices or not, and noted that a total of 24 million euros would be needed to equip the country’s 8,000 gas stations with cash registers costing 3,000 euros apiece. US-Turkish ‘pact’ The USA had signed a secret pact with Turkey before its offensive on Iraq allowing it access to a disused airport near Nicosia, according to a report in yesterday’s Turkish-Cypriot opposition daily newspaper Afrika, based on an article in Turkey’s daily Milliyet. Turkey’s refusal to allow US forces use of its territory on the way to Iraq was the reason the secret pact was not implemented, the report said. Reclassifying land The Athens office of the World Wildlife Fund yesterday criticized proposed legislative reform for the reclassification of illegally built properties and the redefinition of forestland across the country. The reforms will do nothing to rectify the existing lack of town planning, unlicensed construction, and corruption of state services, but will rather reward violators, according to a WWF Hellas statement.