NEWS

In Brief

GAZA VIOLENCE

Government condemns deadly Israeli attacks in Rafah camp The government yesterday condemned Israeli army attacks in the Gaza town of Rafah, which reportedly killed 10 Palestinians, mostly children. «Reactions such as these cannot be justified by the understandable need to tackle terrorist activities, and do not contribute to to efforts to achieve peace,» acting government spokesman Panayiotis Leivadas said. The new Palestinian ambassador in Athens, Marwan Abdelhamid, said the killings «prove that behind proclamations about an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza…. hopes for a revival of the peace process are being destroyed.» RICOMEX TRIAL Court postpones hearing of bankruptcy appeal which claimants say is a ploy An Athens court yesterday postponed until June 9 the hearing of a bankruptcy suit filed by the Ricomex company, whose factory collapsed during the 1999 earthquake, killing 39 people. The hearing was postponed so that it can be discussed alongside a counterbrief by the families of earthquake victims, who claim Ricomex is just trying to avoid paying hundreds of thousands of euros in compensation awarded by earlier court rulings. ACROPOLIS PROTEST Workers to block entrance this morning Part-time Culture Ministry employees plan to obstruct tourists’ access to the Acropolis from 10 a.m. to noon today in order to press their demand for permanent employment. The workers, who include archaeologists, museum guards and conservators, are staging a 24-hour strike. Acropolis access Senior Culture Ministry officials late on Tuesday approved a preliminary study for the building of facilities to allow access to the Acropolis for disabled visitors. The study involves construction of a lift on the northeastern side of the citadel, leading to the Belvedere bastion. The ministry had promised in the past to provide disabled access to the highly popular site ahead of the Olympics. But this now appears highly unlikely. Cyprus aligned Cyprus is withdrawing from the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries in view of its accession to the European Union, the Cabinet decided yesterday. Cyprus will request the status of a guest country within the movement, government spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said. Ambelokipi murder Police in Athens yesterday arrested a 29-year-old Albanian man for the murder of 39-year-old Spyros Dakolias and the attempted murder of another four customers during a brutal robbery in a bar in Ambelokipi last month. Police said the murder suspect, whom they identified as Kaladroker Giandi, murdered Dakolias in order to rob him and with the aid of another Albanian, whom they identified as 27-year-old Jimi Anesti and who is still at large. GM crops The destruction of more than 100 hectares of genetically modified (GM) corn in the northern prefecture of Drama began yesterday, state officials said. A sample of the seeds that produced the GM corn, which was tested by the Agricultural Development and Food Ministry, proved to have 0.2 percent higher GM levels than the maximum European level, but the results only became available after the seed had already been distributed, officials said. The firm Pioneer Hi-Breed Hellas, which imported the seeds, has agreed to pay farmers 1,270 euros for every hectare of land destroyed, unionists said. Illegal immigrants Archbishop Christodoulos and Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis yesterday discussed ways of tackling the problems posed by human trafficking in Greece. They also discussed the implementation of joint initiatives between the ministry and the Church to provide support for illegal immigrants. Speedboat injury A 52-year-old tourist was yesterday hospitalized on Corfu with head injuries after being struck by a speed boat while swimming off Nissaki, on the northeast coast of the island. The victim’s name and nationality were not revealed. Salonica fire A blaze yesterday in a timber factory near the Gallikos River in Thessaloniki caused an estimated 40,000 euros in damage, firemen said.