NEWS

In Brief

EQUALITY EDUCATION

Children need to be taught about rights at school, meeting in Athens told The principles of equality and human rights need to be taught to children at school, a Council of Europe meeting in Athens heard yesterday. Lessons in history, literature, languages, geography and religion are key to helping children of different cultures understand and respect each other, experts said. The meeting was an initiative by PASOK Euro MP Anna Karamanou and was held shortly after the release of a pan-European study showing that xenophobia is high in Greece, where one in 10 pupils is foreign-born. ‘INSURGENCY’ Government plays down German report of Albanian guerrilla war Government officials yesterday dismissed a report that appeared in Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine on Monday that claimed that Albanian rebels were preparing a guerrilla campaign in northwestern Greece before the Athens Olympics. «The report has no relation to reality,» government spokesman Christos Protopapas said. Public Order Minister Giorgos Floridis commented: «Now and then we read various things from abroad. We evaluate all of them but in this case I can tell you that it is totally devoid of any truth.» HALKI SEMINARY ‘A matter for Turkey and its EU bid’ The reopening of the Halki Orthodox seminary in Turkey does not fall within the remit of Greek-Turkish relations but rather Turkey’s adaptation to the European «acquis communautaire,» Education Minister Petros Efthymiou said yesterday following talks with his Turkish counterpart Huseyin Celik at the sidelines of a European Council summit in Athens. Efthymiou was responding to reporters who claimed Celik had said the Greek government should do something about the Turkish minority in Thrace if it wants the seminary to reopen. Teachers protest Members of the High School Teachers Federation (OLME) yesterday staged a two-hour work stoppage from noon as they demonstrated outside the Education Ministry in protest at an alleged 2,500 permanent teaching vacancies across the country. Unionists also discussed their salary demands with a group of cross-party representatives in Parliament. Teachers are not satisfied with offers for a 11 percent salary increase. Youth crime Three Greek youths, one aged 12 and the other two 15, are believed to be behind five car robberies and one corner shop robbery in central Athens, police said yesterday after arresting the trio. In most cases, the 12-year-old hitchhiked a lift, telling drivers he had no money to get home and leading them to a remote spot where his two accomplices allegedly robbed the victim at knifepoint, police said. Galenianos dies A former opposition New Democracy deputy and deputy finance minister, Michalis Galenianos, has died at the age of 58. Galenianos, who had suffered from heart problems, is to be buried today in Iraklion, Crete. ND leader Costas Karamanlis and other politicians expressed their condolences yesterday. Salonica blast Unidentified assailants caused minor damage to the offices of the ruling PASOK party in Thessaloniki’s Ano Poli area with a Molotov cocktail bomb just after 2.30 a.m. yesterday, police said. Romanian ties Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou discussed the prospects of Balkan countries joining the European Union and EU-NATO cooperation in the defense sector during talks with Romanian Foreign Minister Mircea Geoana in Bucharest yesterday. Mitsotakis better Former Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis, the opposition New Democracy party’s honorary chairman, is in good health and should be discharged from the hospital today or tomorrow, doctors said yesterday. Mitsotsakis was hospitalized on Monday with a flu-related stomach ailment that had caused dehydration. Ferries sail Passenger ferries bound for Crete, the Aegean and the Dodecanese islands were allowed to leave the ports of Piraeus and Rafina from noon yesterday after an improvement in weather conditions.