NEWS

In Brief

CYPRUS- Eurobarometer poll finds majority favors joining EU Fifty-one percent of Greek Cypriots support the accession of Cyprus to the European Union, according to Eurobarometer. The opinion poll, which was conducted on over 12,000 citizens from the 13 candidate countries to assess their attitude to the potential accession of their country to the EU, also revealed 64 percent of Greek Cypriots would vote for Cyprus’s accession in a referendum. Only 13 percent of Greek Cypriots saw accession as a bad thing. Meanwhile, 59 percent of Turks supported the accession of their country to the EU while 14 percent opposed it. Hospitals Athens state doctors on 24-hour strike on Thursday Athens hospitals will only accept urgent cases this Thursday as doctors stage a 24-hour strike to demand an increase in funding for the health sector. Staff at state hospitals, who are demanding that 6,000 full-time posts be created, will also strike next Monday for 24 hours. Finally, doctors of the Social Security Foundation (IKA) are threatening three five-day countrywide strikes, the dates of which have yet to be confirmed, unless various financial and institutional demands are met. EUROS New currency for old fines Financial penalties, fines and legal fees will be imposed and paid in euros as of January 1 2002, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed. The penal code has been readjusted so that all penalties and costs are now in euros, the ministry stated in a circular sent to appeals courts and prosecutors. ‘Not BSE.’ Mad cow disease played no role in the death of the 45-year-old firefighter last Friday at an Athenian military hospital in which he was been being treated, the Infectious Diseases Center announced yesterday. Laboratory tests indicate Dimitris Delis died of a rare form of the human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which has no link to the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) disease found in cows. Traffickers. A court in Hania, western Crete, yesterday sentenced the three Syrian officers of the Wael IV freighter, arrested in Souyia last week for trafficking illegal immigrants, to 10 years in prison each and a total fine of 411 million drachmas. The court – which convicted the three men of trafficking for profit, endangering human life and illegal entry into the country – decided on 10-year sentences as the men were tried in a misdemeanors’ court, though their combined sentences would have otherwise amounted to 204 years in prison. The remaining eight members of the crew were cleared of all charges. Athens 2004. New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis yesterday met the president of the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee, Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, who briefed him on the committee’s progress. After the meeting at the Athens 2004 offices, the opposition leader told reporters his party would continue to press the government to ensure delays were avoided and full and efficient use was made of resources. Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said all efforts were being made to ensure the test events ran on time. Simitis in Germany. Prime Minister Costas Simitis will continue his private visit to Germany until tomorrow when he is due at The Hague for talks with his Dutch counterpart, Wim Kok. Simitis will then travel on to Laeken, Belgium, for the EU summit on December 14 and 15. Emissions. The European Commission is to institute proceedings against 11 EU member states – including Greece – for allegedly violating a Commission agreement dictating acceptable levels of carbon dioxide emissions from passenger cars. The agreement, drawn up in 2000, demands member states appoint a relevant authority to collect data and submit it for the commission’s approval. The EU’s environment commissioner, Margot Wallstrom, said she hoped the countries in question – Greece, Italy, Spain, Austria, Ireland, Luxembourg, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, Portugal and Sweden – would supply the EC with the relevant data as soon as possible. Supermarket hours.The Supermarket Owners’ Union has announced its opening hours for the holiday season. They are as follows and apply to the whole of Greece: Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday: 8 a. m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, December 23: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday, December 30: Closed, Wednesday, January 2: Closed.