NEWS

In Brief

CURBING POLLUTION

EC raps Greece, 5 other EU states for failing to submit report on action The European Commission yesterday sent a written warning to Greece and another five EU states, urging them to submit overdue reports regarding the extent to which they observe EU legislation on the handling of industrial pollution, on pain of legal action. Greece, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands were obliged to submit their reports for the period 2000-2002 by September 30 of last year, according to the Commission. The aim of the legislation is to curb pollution of the air, water and earth from emissions from industrial and agricultural sites. UNITY OF FAITH Patriarch sends letter to pope 40 years after Istanbul meeting Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios yesterday sent a letter to Pope John Paul II marking 40 years since Patriarch Athinagoras met with Pope Paul VI in Jerusalem. «We turn toward the vision of the full union of the sister churches, with common faith and sacraments,» Vartholomaios said in his letter. Also yesterday, Istanbul’s governor, Muamer Guler, visited Vartholomaios to convey the Turkish government’s wishes to the Patriarchate and Turkey’s Greek minority for Christmas and the New Year, officials at the patriarchate said. JAIL ‘INADEQUATE’ Guards complain of security lapses A shortage of staff and lack of crucial infrastructure has caused severe problems in the smooth operation of Thessaloniki’s Diavata Jail and facilitated the recent smuggling of arms into the penitentiary, unionists representing the jail’s workers said in a letter to Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos on Monday. The investment of 13,000 euros for the installation of electronic locks on cell doors has yet to be approved and the telephone switchboard is irreparably damaged, the letter claimed. Bulgarian digs The Greek government is to donate 20,000 euros to the work of Bulgarian archaeologists excavating at the ancient Greek city of Apollonia near Sozopol, the director of Bulgaria’s National Historical Museum was quoted by the Athens News Agency as saying on Monday. The money will fund excavations in the necropolis of the city which flourished from the sixth to the first century BC, Bozidar Dimitrov said. Fatal attack A 25-year-old British tourist died on Monday of head injuries sustained in an attack by three unidentified assailants on New Year’s Day in Limassol, southern Cyprus. London resident Stuart Butler died at Nicosia General Hospital where he had been in critical condition since the attack. The three assailants, described as 17, 20, and 60 years old, fled after throwing an unidentified object at Butler’s head, Agence France-Presse quoted Cypriot police as saying. Butler had argued with the three men after they allegedly insulted a woman he was with, police said. Bank raids Unidentified robbers raided Athens banks in Palaio Faliron and Ilioupolis on Monday. The first raid was carried out at around 1.30 p.m. by two armed men who fled on a motorcycle after netting an undisclosed sum of money. The second robbery, in Ilioupolis at about 3 p.m., was also carried out by two gunmen who fled in a car. It is unclear how much money they got away with. Gas death An elderly couple from the village of Fotolivos in Drama were lethally poisoned after gas leaked from their heater into their bedroom, police said yesterday. The gas began to leak after the gaspipe became disconnected from the heater, according to police who said Ioannis Christopoulos, 83, and his wife Soultana, 79, had been sleeping with the heater on over the last few days because of the cold. Police were alerted by the couple’s concerned relatives. Cotton prices The average producer price of unprocessed cotton for 2003-2004 will reach a record of over 1.03 euros per kilo, Deputy Agriculture Minister Evangelos Argyris said on Monday, noting that estimates were based on 974,000 tons of cotton submitted to cotton gins by producers. Although 15 percent less cotton was produced in 2003, producers will reap more revenue than in 2002 (because they will not be penalized for exceeding the EU quota for cotton production), Argyris said.