NEWS

In Brief

YASSER ARAFAT

Political leaders send condolences; FM to attend funeral in Cairo today President Costis Stephanopoulos yesterday sent a message to the caretaker head of the Palestinian Authority, Rawhi Fattuh, conveying his hopes for «an end to the enormous pain and hardship of the people of Gaza and the West Bank» following the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis is to attend Arafat’s funeral service in Cairo today. Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and PASOK chief George Papandreou sent their condolences. The Diplomatic Representation of Palestine in Palaio Psychico will open a book of condolences to the public from Monday to Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. DUTCH PRODUCE Initial results show dairy products safe The initial results of laboratory tests conducted on Dutch dairy products – condensed milk, pasteurized milk and powdered milk for infants – show that the products are absolutely safe for consumption, the Development Ministry said yesterday. The tests were launched following the discovery of cancer-causing dioxins in milk from two Dutch farms. The Hellenic Food Authority will continue to conduct tests on other dairy and meat products imported from the Netherlands, the ministry said. Hospital strike State hospitals across the country are operating on skeleton staff today as doctors join a 24-hour strike. Doctors are protesting the new duty roster system for state hospitals. A three-month pilot scheme aimed at reducing overcrowding at the capital’s state hospitals by restructuring duty rotations came into effect this month. Illegal immigrants Border guards yesterday detained 89 illegal immigrants and the 57-year-old Turk who had tried to smuggle them into Greece, police said. Officers discovered the migrants – mostly Pakistanis and Bangladeshis – after stopping a truck on the Alexandroupolis-Orestiada national road. Also yesterday, a 20-year-old Albanian was arrested in Kilkis for trying to smuggle seven of his countrymen into Greece. All eight were injured – it was unclear how badly – after Gazmed Taroussi crashed the car he was driving following a police chase. Foreign policy Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis yesterday briefed the leaders of political parties on developments regarding Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis today begins a two-day visit to Cyprus. Papaligouras Justice Minister Anastassis Papaligouras’s putting pressure on Supreme Court prosecutor Dimitris Linos toward appealing the shelving of charges against former board members of the Athens Stock Exchange does not constitute intervention, the Supreme Court’s administrative plenum ruled yesterday. Plenum members voted (by 33 to 22) against examining the case after receiving assurances from Linos that he did not regard the minister’s action as intervention. Killer remanded A 37-year-old man from the former Soviet Union was yesterday remanded in Komotini jail after allegedly stabbing to death a fellow villager, aged 92, in order to steal his pension. The man, identified only as N.A., faces murder charges after he admitted to visiting Theodoros Apostolidis in his home in Tymbano, Xanthi, on Sunday morning and stabbing him 12 times before fleeing with 172 euros. Sports committee Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis wrote to Parliament Speaker Anna Psarouda-Benaki yesterday calling for the establishment of a cross-party committee to monitor transparency in sports, with special focus on the use of anabolic steroids by athletes.