NEWS

In Brief

PASSARIS – Greece requests criminal’s extradition from Romania Justice Minister Filippos Petsalnikos yesterday demanded that Costas Passaris, the notorious Greek criminal currently detained in Romania, be allowed to return to Greece so he can be tried for the various crimes he is alleged to have committed, including murder of two policemen and a string of robberies. The Greek Foreign Ministry is forwarding Petsalnikos’s request to Romanian authorities. WEATHER Conditions forecast to worsen tomorrow The weather will worsen on Saturday with a brief mild spell today, meteorologists said yesterday. Drivers are advised to use anti-skid chains in most parts of central and northern Greece where heavy snow and low temperatures have made the roads dangerously icy. Temperatures yesterday dropped as low as minus 14 Celsius in the Katara pass. Torrential rain caused a near-fatal accident on Crete, dislodging two large rocks which fell onto a car traveling along the Hania-Kissamo highway. The driver was slightly injured but a second driver, whose car crashed into the first, was unhurt., ROAD TAX Week’s extension given Drivers have an extra week to obtain their road tax stickers following a decision by the Economy Ministry to extend the deadline from December 14 to December 21. But, as of Monday, only tax offices will sell the stickers, which are still available at banks today. Bishop challenged. The Holy Synod, the governing body of the Church of Greece, yesterday demanded that Bishop Nikiforos of Didymoteicho respond to allegations in the press by a monk who says the bishop sexually harassed him. The bishop will face trial at a religious court if he is unable to provide a convincing defense, the Holy Synod said. PKK capture. Baris Cengiz, a senior member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) recently captured by Turkish authorities, has reportedly told police he had received training in PKK camps in Greece and Syria, Turkey’s Anatolia state news agency said yesterday. Greece has long denied accusations by Ankara that it harbors and trains Kurdish rebels. Cengiz, who allegedly headed PKK activities in central Turkey, was arrested along with two other alleged militants. Denktash in Turkey. Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash met Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit in Ankara yesterday to discuss the Cyprus problem. Denktash is due to meet Greek-Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides in mid-January to resume talks on reunifying the divided island. The two leaders agreed to resume negotiations on December 4 during their first face-to-face talks for four years. Drunken suicide attempt. An Athens court yesterday described the actions of a drunken man who was hit by a car while trying to cross the Athens-Corinth highway in June last year as a suicide attempt. The prosecutor said his client, 55-year-old Efstathios Voukelatos, did not have time to react when 61-year-old Constantinos Yiannos suddenly appeared in the road in front of him. The coroner’s report confirmed Voukelatos had been under the influence of alcohol. Illegal immigrants. Turkish coast guards yesterday morning escorted a trawler, carrying around 80 illegal immigrants toward the sea border between Turkey and Greece, back to Bodrum on the Turkish coast. In the latest example of improved cooperation between Turkey and Greece in curbing illegal immigration, the Turks sent a boat out to retrieve the trawler after Greek port authorities on the island of Kos spotted it. Airspace violations. Airforce sources said that 10 formations of Turkish fighter planes yesterday violated Greek airspace and transgressed the Athens Flight Information Region. Brussels demo. Five Greeks were arrested yesterday at what was otherwise a peaceful demonstration by 80,000 labor union workers and other activists in Brussels on the eve of today’s European Union summit. A delegation from Synaspismos Left Coalition, led by party chairman Nikos Constantopoulos, was also in Brussels to join protesters in demanding increased participation for labor unions in shaping EU social policy.