NEWS

In Brief

OLYMPIC – CSFB says it will submit recommendation next week Crucial decisions about the sale of ailing state airline Olympic Airways were postponed for next week, after privatization adviser Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) announced yesterday afternoon that it would submit its final recommendation over the bids of Axon Airlines, Cyprus Airways and Australia’s Integrated Airline Solutions (IAS) next week. Transport Minister Christos Verelis had earlier indicated he would make a decision today on how to proceed. The government is seen as favoring the bid by Axon, a small private Greek airline, but rival IAS unveiled on Wednesday a radically improved bid and new members in its consortium. Late last night, government sources were saying that CSFB would likely submit its report on Monday. There was no confirmation from the adviser. MIGRANTS Greece, Turkey discuss efforts to turn back tide Foreign Ministry officials in Greece and Turkey are negotiating the terms of a memorandum governing the return of illegal immigrants, Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Belgitis said yesterday. He said ministry official Kyriakos Rodousakis, who heads the Turkey desk, had gone to Ankara to discuss the memorandum which is aimed at stemming the tide of illegal immigrants from Turkey to Greece within the framework of an existing bilateral accord on citizen security. Yesterday, state and non-governmental organizations were offering support to hundreds of immigrants who arrived on the island of Evia on a small ship early Wednesday. SALONICA FAIR Prosecutors for demonstrators Thessaloniki’s police directorate has asked for the support of the public prosecutor’s office in controlling protest demonstrations scheduled to be held during the visit to the city by Prime Minister Costas Simitis this weekend. The prime minister arrives in Thessaloniki today to open the International Trade Fair and deliver his annual keynote speech on the economy. A major demonstration is planned for tomorrow night. Gas stations. Safer conditions at gas stations are to be imposed following the signing yesterday of a presidential decree on conditions for setting up and operating gasoline outlets. According to the decree, signed by Transport Minister Christos Verelis, a fire protection study will be required along with double-walled storage tanks and other safety features in line with European Union directives, as well as facilities for people with disabilities. The decree also determines minimum distances between gas stations, and between gas stations and churches, schools, theaters and stores. Humanitarian leave. An Iranian illegal immigrant in her ninth month of pregnancy has been given a year’s residence permit by order of Interior Minister Vasso Papandreou, it was announced yesterday. Daibe Achmadzabe, who is being held in Korydallos Prison, was granted the permit on humanitarian grounds as a result of an open letter written by parliamentary deputy Stella Alfieri, the prison doctor’s report and a report in the press. Airline safety. Prosecutor Dimitris Zacharopoulos yesterday lodged a series of charges against the board of the Civil Aviation Service and the management of Galaxy and Aegean airlines regarding a report on the lack of flight safety on private air carriers. Similar charges have been made against the management of Macedonian Airlines, Avionic and Cronus. Police attacked. About 30 Gypsies in Dendropotamos, Thessaloniki, Wednesday night allegedly attacked police officers after they arrested Dimitrios Draginis, 28, in the act of negotiating the sale of a kilo of heroin for nine million drachmas, and Anastasios Zafeiropoulos, 25, who was keeping watch. The crowd attacked the officers with sticks, stones and clubs, slightly injuring them and damaging the police car. Two of the attackers, Evthymios Asimoglou, 19 and Fotini Asimoglou-Markaki, 39, were later arrested. Big Brother. The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece has added its voice to the protests against the airing of the Greek version of Big Brother, a 24-hour live reality show due to go on the air next week. The Synod yesterday suggested that the National Radio Council invoke its legal right to ban broadcasting of the show.