NEWS

In Brief

ATTIKI ODOS

Toll charge for motorists to increase 25 percent to 2.50 euros tomorrow Toll charges for motorists using the Attiki Odos highway will go up 25 percent to 2.50 euros from 2 euros tomorrow, following a decision announced last week by the Attiki Odos consortium. Toll charges for motorcyclists and scooter drivers are to go up to 1.20 euros from 1 euro, while charges for small-to-medium and large trucks will increase to 6.20 euros from 5 euros, and to 10 euros from 8 euros respectively. Synaspismos Left Coalition Deputy Alekos Alavanos yesterday asked Public Works Minister Giorgos Siouflias to explain the reasoning behind the 25 percent hike. CYPRUS MISSING UN body reconvenes after five years, asks for Red Cross help A UN-led committee set up to determine the fate of hundreds of people listed as missing since Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974 convened in Nicosia yesterday for the first time in nearly five years, and appealed to the International Committee of the Red Cross to recommend forensic experts to carry out exhumations at grave sites on both sides of the island. The committee, which was set up more than 20 years ago, is scheduled to meet again on Friday. More than 1,500 Greek Cypriots are listed as missing and about 500 Turkish Cypriots. OLYMPIAN HELD US volleyballer allegedly hit woman A 27-year-old member of the US volleyball team is today to face a magistrate on charges of grievous bodily harm after he allegedly struck a pregnant woman in Mitropoleos Square, central Athens, early yesterday morning. Stanley Clayton allegedly struck the eight-month pregnant Vassiliki Papayianni following an altercation with her and her partner, who had been on a motorcycle. Clayton was also charged with abuse and resisting arrest. The extent of the woman’s injuries was unclear yesterday. Paralympic team The Greek Paralympic Committee is on Thursday morning due to present the Greek athletes who will be competing in next month’s Paralympics during an official ceremony at the Athens Hilton Hotel. Deputy Culture Minister Giorgos Orfanos, who is in charge of sports, is to attend the ceremony along with many other senior officials from the government and sports world. More than 200 Greek athletes are scheduled to compete in the September 17-28 Paralympics. Karamanlis meetings Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis yesterday received European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen at the Maximos Mansion. Both visitors congratulated Karamanlis on Greece’s successful hosting of the Olympic Games. Foreign affairs Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis and the US State Department’s Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, Laura Kennedy, discussed Cyprus, the relationship between Turkey and the European Union, and the role of Greece in the western Balkans and in southeastern Europe during a meeting in Athens yesterday. The goal of the Greek government is «a (Cyprus) solution acceptable to Europe and based on the Annan plan,» Valinakis told Kennedy. Hospital staff Health Minister Nikitas Kaklamanis yesterday called off a freeze on hospital workers’ vacation rights following the conclusion of the Olympic Games. Kaklamanis’s decision does not apply to staff working at hospitals which will be on standby over the course of the September 17 to 28 Paralympics. They will be entitled to leave from now until September 10. Cypriot properties Nicosia may take legal action against foreign firms involved in the sale of Greek-Cypriot properties in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus, the Athens News Agency reported yesterday. A government report on the matter is nearly ready and the European Union and United Nations have already been briefed about it, the ANA quoted Cypriot Foreign Minister Giorgos Iacovou as saying. Lithuanian leader President Costis Stephanopoulos yesterday met with his visiting counterpart from Lithuania, Valdas Adamkus.