NEWS

In Brief

TURKS COMPENSATED

Greece ordered to pay 1.66 million euros for seized Halkidiki land Greece was yesterday ordered by the European Court of Human Rights to pay 1.66 million euros in damages to a Turkish family that was stripped of its land in northern Greece 60 years ago. The family had owned an olive grove occupied in 1925 by the Greek State for moving Greek refugees from western Turkey. The land on the Halkidiki peninsula was expropriated in 1933. About 10 members of the family fought for compensation in the Greek courts from 1933 until 1997, in vain, before finally turning to the European Court. (AFP) WASTE DISPOSAL EC takes legal action against Greece, five other EU states, for violating laws The European Commission yesterday took legal action against Greece in connection with illegal waste disposal in Paeania, eastern Attica. Greece was among six EU states – along with Britain, France, Italy, Spain and Luxembourg – found to have violated European legislation governing waste disposal. Although Greece appears to have made some progress in curbing waste disposal in Paeania, «problems with illegal disposal continue to exist,» a Commission statement said. MARBLES PETITION More than 50 British MPs sign A petition to the House of Commons for the return of the Elgin, or Parthenon, Marbles to Greece was signed yesterday by more than 50 British MPs. The petition was drafted by Labor Party MP Andrew Dismore. Ship seized Coast guards off the island of Angistri in the Saronic Gulf yesterday seized the Tonga-flagged Nanna motorship on suspicion of having landed 153 illegal immigrants in the northeastern Peloponnese earlier this week. The ship’s crew of nine were arrested on human smuggling charges. The Merchant Marine Ministry said the small freighter had been sailing under forged documents, and was really the Syrian-flagged Nancy, suspected of migrant smuggling in the past. Israeli visit Israeli Interior Minister Avraam Poraz, on an official visit to Athens yesterday, suggested that Israel may eventually be willing to recognize Orthodox Patriarch Irenaios of Jerusalem. «I hope we will be able to find a solution to the problem of (Irenaios’s) recognition very soon,» Poraz said following talks with Alternate Foreign Minister Tassos Yiannitsis. Poraz, who is responsible for non-Jewish religions in Israel, said he was happy with the way Greece was handling anti-Semitism. Bosnian visit Bosnia’s three-member multiethnic presidency started a three-day visit to Greece yesterday, meeting President Costis Stephanopoulos, Prime Minister Costas Simitis and other officials. Museum closed The Archaeological Museum of Rhodes will remain shut from Sunday until June due to renovation work being carried out ahead of the Olympic Games, the Culture Ministry said yesterday. Kifissou Avenue Piraeus-bound traffic on Kifissou Avenue will be reduced to one lane (from three) between the Petrou Ralli interchange and the Aghia Anna junction from 7 a.m. tomorrow until 7 a.m. on Monday due to roadwork. Racetrack The old racetrack in Faliron, which is to serve as a parking lot for Olympic officials during the Games this summer, will be handed over to Kallithea’s municipal authorities after the Olympics, Public Works Minister Vasso Papandreou said yesterday during a visit to Olympic works in the area. The racecourse grounds will then be used to stage sporting and cultural events, according to Kallithea Mayor Costas Askounis. Defense chiefs The Government Council on Foreign Policy and Defense (KYSEA) yesterday announced that it had extended the terms of the chiefs of the Greek army, navy and air force staffs by one year, due to the forthcoming elections. Potshots Three teenagers, aged 15, 16 and 17, were arrested in Piraeus on Wednesday for firing an air gun at passing buses, reports said yesterday.