NEWS

In Brief

ALBANIAN TIES

PM vows support, seeks minority’s protection after meeting with Nano Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis yesterday stressed the strength of Greece’s ties with Albania following a meeting with his visiting Albanian counterpart, Fatos Nano. «The relationship between the two countries is on a stable and irreversible course,» Karamanlis said, adding that Greece would support its neighbor’s European orientation. But Karamanlis also emphasized the need for «a practical safeguarding of the rights of Albania’s ethnic Greek minority.» AIR BASE ACCIDENT NCO dies while inspecting fighter jet at Tanagra A non-commissioned officer was killed yesterday while inspecting the undercarriage cavity of a Mirage 2000 fighter jet at the Tanagra military airport. A coroner is to determine the exact cause of Angelos Vatouyias’s death. Meanwhile, Defense Minister Spilios Spiliotopoulos asked for a report on the cause of the accident to be submitted to the ministry within three days. AIR SPACE VIOLATIONS Turkish jets chased away Eight formations of Turkish fighter jets yesterday entered the Athens Flight Information Region eight times and violated Greek national air space southwest of Lesvos and Rhodes 36 times, military officials said. The 12 Turkish jets were chased off by as many Greek aircraft, the officials said. Illegal immigrants Coast guards on Crete were yesterday detaining another 68 illegal immigrants after patrol vessels towed a stranded fishing boat to the island’s southern coast late on Tuesday, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. Police believe six of those detained were smugglers, the ministry said, without providing details of the origin of the migrants. Tuesday’s arrests brings the total number of immigrants detained on Crete over the last 10 days to 304. Construction probe A file containing details of the activities of a firm, set up by the previous government to undertake the construction of new courts and prisons all over the country, has been forwarded to the Supreme Court’s prosecutor, Justice Minister Anastassis Papaligouras told a press conference yesterday. Prosecutor Dimitris Linos is to investigate possible illicit activities and transactions by the firm, Themis Construction, Papaligouras said. ELA love nest Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA) suspect Angeletos Kanas yesterday admitted to renting a studio flat in the Athenian district of Aghios Panteleimonas, alleged to have been an ELA hideout, but implied he had used the flat as a love nest. Kanas, who was recognized by the flat owner in court, said he had rented the flat «to get away from (Sophia) Kyriakidou» – his estranged former wife who is a key prosecution witness at the trial. Rizari park The Athens Academy yesterday issued a petition expressing its opposition to the «planned destruction» of the Rizari park to allow construction of a museum of contemporary art by the Vassileios and Eliza Goulandris Foundation. The academy appealed for «environmental sensitivity and respect for tradition» and called for the neoclassical building on the park that once housed the Rizareion theological school to be declared a listed monument. Wind damage A whirlwind which struck Patras and the Achaia prefecture in the early afternoon yesterday uprooted dozens of trees – many of which collapsed upon parked cars – and caused widespread damage to crops. The whirlwind, whose speed was estimated at over 60 kilometers per hour, also disrupted ferry crossings on the nearby Rio-Antirio strait and created some problems on Patras roads where electricity pylons collapsed. Wall collapse A large section of the Venetian walls of Nicosia, not far from the Ledra Palace checkpoint, collapsed yesterday, the Athens News Agency reported from the Cypriot capital. The section, measuring 10 meters by 4 meters, was on the Turkish side of the divided capital.