NEWS

In Brief

NO SWIFT AEGEAN DEAL

Athens rules out Greek-Turkish pact on continental shelf Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos yesterday ruled out the possibility of Greece and Turkey reaching an agreement on the Aegean continental shelf at a NATO summit later this month. «There is no question of any bilateral agreement between Greece and Turkey regarding the continental shelf on the sidelines of the NATO summit at the end of June,» Roussopoulos told reporters yesterday. Last week, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke of «positive developments in the matter of the Aegean continental shelf» – an assertion which was not echoed by Greek authorities. GROWING PAINS Girl, 11, needed surgery after parents allegedly bound her breasts with straps An Athens court yesterday postponed until June 21 the hearing of two parents who allegedly caused septicemia in their 11-year-old daughter by making her wear elastic straps around her breasts. The court is awaiting the findings of a coroner’s report. The 11-year-old required surgery on Saturday to remove the straps. The parents – who police said were mentally disturbed – have been charged with grievous bodily harm and exposing a minor to danger. The girl’s claim that she had bound her breasts herself for the last four days was rejected by the coroner. MINISTRY FIRE Driving licenses destroyed in Holargos A fire which broke out at the offices of the Transport Ministry’s vehicle registration department on Mesogeion Avenue in Holargos at 1 a.m. yesterday destroyed several offices, along with driving licenses and other documents, the fire brigade said. It was unclear how the fire started but police have not ruled out the possibility of arson. ELA trial A total of 16 defense witnesses testified yesterday in the ongoing trial of five alleged Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA) terrorists. The witnesses – friends and relatives of the defendants – all maintained that the suspects had no link to the terror group, with some claiming that evidence had been fabricated by the authorities. Also yesterday, Deputy Ombudsman Andreas Takis sent a letter to the Justice Ministry, inquiring into the detention conditions of convicted November 17 terrorists and rumored plans for their transfer to Larissa jail from Korydallos. Conscript suicide A 20-year-old conscript serving at an army base in the northwestern prefecture of Ioannina fatally shot himself with his service rifle during patrol duty early yesterday morning, the joint chiefs of staff said in a statement. The soldier, identified only as G.N. from the greater Athens area, shot a fellow conscript in the wrist following an argument and then shot himself, the statement said. Market crackdown Deputy Development Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou yesterday pledged stricter checks on street vendors over summer ahead of his meeting with government, prefectural and police inspectors. «The State is present, laws will be enforced, and the market should be aware of this,» Papathanassiou said. Presidential decrees aimed at ensuring transparency in procedures for issuing street traders with licenses are expected to be promulgated soon. Ferry hotline The Piraeus Port Authority has set up a new telephone number – 210.414.7800 – which travelers can call to inquire about times of ferry departures and arrivals, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. Along with the existing service available on 210.422.6000, the above number means 38 callers can be handled simultaneously, the ministry said. Cretan rapist A 40-year-old Cretan man believed to have raped and stabbed an 80-year-old woman in the western village of Pyrgos was yesterday in police custody. The man allegedly gained entry to the elderly woman’s house and raped her before stabbing her twice in the stomach with a knife from the kitchen, according to police. The woman was yesterday in a stable condition in hospital. Reagan condolences The US Embassy in Athens is today opening a condolences book for former US President Ronald Reagan, who died on Saturday. The book will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. from today to Friday.