NEWS

In Brief

DEFENSE STRATEGY

ND says there has been no change, PASOK wants stance clarified Trying to end a storm over an interview in which Defense Minister Spilios Spiliotopoulos apparently raised the possibility of Greece trimming its air space to below the current 10 miles, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said yesterday that «the matter has closed for the government.» Referring to Spiliotopoulos’s interview with Turkish daily Hurriyet on Sunday, he added, «There has been no change in our national strategy and particularly as regards the matters which recently came under the public spotlight.» The opposition PASOK party repeated its criticism of the government’s «dangerously vague stance on major issues» and asked that Parliament be briefed. FERRY PRICES Tickets up 10 percent from today, shipowners’ union tells minister Tickets for passenger ferries are set to increase from today following a decision by shipowners, who cited the deregulation of sea transport and recent increases in fuel prices as the driving factors behind their move. «The current price of ferry transport is at least 62 percent lower than it should be,» the Greek Coastal Shipowners’ Association charged in a letter sent to Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis this week. Increases are expected to vary between less than 10 percent to more than 15 percent. CZECH PROTECTION Anti-chemical unit to guard Athens Czech lawmakers yesterday unanimously voted to send an anti-chemical warfare unit to the Olympics as part of a NATO security force, The Associated Press reported. The move still needs the approval of the Senate which is due to vote on July 13, AP said. The Czech soldiers are to be part of a force ready to respond to chemical, biological or nuclear attacks. Sculpture gallery Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis yesterday visited the two buildings in the Athenian district of Goudi which are to accommodate the new National Sculpture Gallery, due to officially open on July 26. The buildings, whose renovation started in April and is now nearing completion, will house the National Gallery’s permanent exhibition of sculptures. The gallery will include a retrospective of Henry Moore’s work and an exhibition of Christos Kapralos’s wooden sculptures. The new gallery «gives a fresh impetus to sculpture,» Tatoulis said. Worksite accident A 46-year-old supervisor who had been overseeing the unloading of iron joints at a Hellenic Railway Organization (OSE) site near the village of Strymoniko in Serres yesterday was crushed to death when a 4-ton load collapsed upon him. Nikos Dabidenkos had approached the operator of the crane carrying the parts when the load fell. Laborers on the site said they tried to warn the supervisor not to approach the area but that he had not heard them, possibly due to strong winds in the area. The cause of the incident was unclear. GM corn At least 60 hectares of genetically modified (GM) corn cultivated in the Evros region of Orestiada has been destroyed, the Athens office of Greenpeace said yesterday, adding that GM seeds had been sown in other plantations in the same region. The environmental protection group criticized what it called the ineffectiveness of state-led inspections on the cultivation and trade of GM products and the lack of a legal framework to ensure offenders are punished. The group also demanded that farmers who unwittingly sowed GM seeds should be compensated for destroyed crops. Lethal addiction A 65-year-old man yesterday handed himself in to police in Thessaloniki after allegedly fatally shooting his 30-year-old drug addict son who had been pestering him for money for his next hit. The father of Giorgos Koukoumerias had disappeared after shooting his son following a row at their home in the city’s Dendropotamos district on Tuesday, police said. The 30-year-old had been constantly harassing his father for drug money, according to police.