NEWS

In Brief

RESERVE SOLDIERS

Ministry approves pilot scheme to recruit young men in border regions A pilot scheme to recruit young men as reserve soldiers in border regions was approved yesterday by the Defense Ministry and is expected to be implemented after legislation is voted through by the end of this year. The scheme will be open to men up to the age of 35 who are to be posted for a few months of the year to units near their hometowns and paid the salary of permanent soldiers of their rank. The aim of the scheme is to boost defense personnel while reducing unemployment in border regions. AIR-SPACE VIOLATIONS Turkish jets reappear in Aegean Six formations of Turkish fighter jets yesterday violated Greek national air space seven times in the central and northern Aegean. The 12 Turkish jets were chased off by Greek aircraft. Meanwhile, the Turkish air force launched an exercise in the southeastern Mediterranean and Aegean involving US, British, German, Italian and Spanish aircraft and NATO vessels. The exercise is to run until November 12. Also yesterday, a Turkish coast guard helicopter flew over the Dodecanese islet of Imia – over which Greece and Turkey came close to war in 1996 – where it hovered for a while before returning to Turkey. Road tax Owners of cars and motorcycles can buy their road tax stickers for 2005 from banks as of yesterday. Road tax charges have increased by 15 percent. The stickers will be available at banks until December 31. Those who fail to acquire a road tax sticker by the deadline will be obliged to visit their tax office where they will have to pay double the road tax they would have paid as penalty. Olympic venues The Culture Ministry has taken over control of Olympic venues from the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee and the Public Works Ministry, Alternate Culture Minister Fanni Palli-Petralia said yesterday after a meeting with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. Koroneia probe A Thessaloniki prosecutor yesterday ordered a preliminary investigation into the pollution of Lake Koroneia – where thousands of waterfowl died in September – after the local Lagadas Municipality sued all responsible parties following the discovery of thousands of dead fish in the lake last Friday. Laboratory tests have revealed that a deadly bacterium was responsible for killing thousands of birds and hundreds of fish in the lake in September. Peristeri murder Police yesterday discovered the corpse of an Iraqi woman, aged about 25, in a wardrobe in her Peristeri home. Officers were called to the apartment by the couple’s landlady who had not seen the woman, nor her husband and child, for more than 20 days. A coroner confirmed that the woman had died about a month ago. Police are regarding as a chief suspect the woman’s husband, who disappeared with the couple’s child about 25 days ago, according to neighbors. Greek-Russian ties Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis and Russia’s visiting Deputy Foreign Minister Yury Fedotov yesterday discussed bilateral ties, regional matters and the Cyprus problem, the ministry said. Fedotov’s visit comes ahead of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis’s scheduled visit to Moscow on December 8-10. Molyviatis is tomorrow due to brief Parliament’s foreign policy and defense committee. Kyrgistani ties President Costis Stephanopoulos yesterday met with his visiting counterpart from the central Asian state of Kyrgistan, Askar Akaef (photo). The leaders signed three bilateral agreements in the areas of air transport, tourism and diplomacy. Illegal immigrants Coast guards on Pserimos yesterday arrested 27 illegal immigrants who had landed on the eastern Aegean islet. Corinth Canal The Corinth Canal is to be closed from 6.30 a.m. to 8 p.m. today