NEWS

In Brief

US POLLS

Karamanlis sends President Bush his congratulations on re-election Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis yesterday sent a telegram to US President George W. Bush, congratulating him on his re-election. In the telegram, Karamanlis expressed his certainty that the longstanding and close ties between Greece and the USA would continue to develop in the future. AIR-SPACE VIOLATIONS Turkish jets back in Aegean for second time this week Seven formations of Turkish fighter jets yesterday violated Greek national air space 11 times in the Aegean. The 21 Turkish jets were chased off by Greek aircraft and there were four simulated dogfights. It was the second time this week that Turkish jets had entered Greek air space. DISABLED CARD Electronic pass due in 18 months An electronic card for disabled citizens certifying the benefits they are entitled to will be issued in about a year and a half following the introduction of a new system of disability assessment, Deputy Health Minister Giorgos Constantopoulos said yesterday. The assessment scheme, which is to begin in about a year, will ensure that those with permanent disabilities will have their status officially confirmed, Constantopoulos said. The smart cards will provide access to benefits or pension payments from bank ATMs, he added. Weapons cache Police in Athens were yesterday interrogating a 34-year-old Greek man claiming to be the owner of a large cache of weapons found under the tiles of a two-story house in Nea Smyrni. Tenants of the house had been unaware of the presence of 11 hand grenades, two automatic rifles, two revolvers, one pistol and a large number of cartridges, which were discovered by construction workers yesterday morning. The 34-year-old said he had collected the weapons while serving as a peacekeeper in Bosnia. Prison suicide A 34-year-old man, who had been serving a life sentence for fatally stabbing a Nigerian street trader in Athens in April 1998, was on Tuesday found hanging in his cell in Corfu jail, daily Eleftherotypia reported yesterday. Efthymios Kyriopoulos stabbed Ouse Ougbuefe in the heart after the Nigerian accosted him and a group of friends in Panathinaikos soccer team’s supporters’ club in Peristeri and tried to ply his wares. Kyriopoulos reacted after the Nigerian pointed out that one of his watches had disappeared. Traffic disruption Traffic will be disrupted on sections of Marathonos Avenue running through the municipalities of Rafina, Pallini and Pikermi east of Athens today, tomorrow and next Monday, the Public Works Ministry said yesterday. The works will be carried out from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. today, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow and Monday, the ministry said. Migrants detained Police in Lamia discovered 46 illegal immigrants from Syria yesterday after stopping a truck from Evros for inspection. The truckdriver, believed to be Greek, managed to flee. Also yesterday, coast guards on Lesvos detained a total of nine illegal immigrants on the island. The migrants had reached the islands in two groups, of four and five, in inflatable rowboats from neighboring Turkey. Archaeological Society Members of Athens’s Archaeological Society yesterday asked Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis to help solve the institution’s financial problems. The society’s president, Epameinondas Spiliotopoulos, provided Karamanlis with a list of all the problems the society has been experiencing since 2001, when its state funding was terminated. Taxi attack A 27-year-old man yesterday faced an Athens prosecutor after knifing a 58-year-old taxi driver in Neos Cosmos late on Tuesday night, police said. Panayiotis Stavropoulos tried to run away after attacking Athanassios Vourvilas but a police patrol car, which had been briefed about the attack by Vourvilas’s radio taxi firm, tracked him down. Vourvilas only sustained superficial injuries, doctors said. The motive for the attack was unclear.