NEWS

In Brief

CHARITY INCENTIVE

New reforms abolish taxation on donations to non-profit organisations Reforms to tax laws tabled in Parliament yesterday abolish taxation on donations to non-profit organizations, including charities and welfare and cultural foundations. The reforms, drafted by the Economy Ministry, do not apply to donations to sports clubs. The measures will apply to donations made from January next year. EU BATTLE GROUPS Greece to join Italy, Spain, Portugal European Union member states yesterday agreed to create 13 elite battle groups to intervene in international crises. Greece is to be grouped with Italy, Spain and Portugal, according to the decision. Each unit will be made up of about 1,500 soldiers able to deploy within 10 days to problem areas. Greece is also to establish a sea-lift coordination center. Aegean violations Six formations of Turkish fighter jets yesterday violated Greek national air space nine times in the northern and central Aegean, military sources said. The 12 Turkish jets were chased off by Greek aircraft and there were four simulated dogfights, the sources said. It was the third series of violations in just over a week. Piraeus walls The Culture Ministry aims to remove all the rubble and outdoor cafes that cover the ancient walls of Piraeus within the next year, Deputy Minister Petros Tatoulis said yesterday in response to a question tabled in Parliament by Synaspismos MP Alekos Alavanos. The ministry aims to clear up the area «irrespective of the major social and economic consequences,» Tatoulis said after Alavanos enquired about the measures the government would be undertaking to conserve the fortifications built by the Athenian general Conon in the 4th century BC. Cell-phone masts Education Ministry officials yesterday agreed to launch a campaign for the removal of mobile phone masts near schools and parks, following a court ruling temporarily suspending the operation of a mast near a primary school in Thessaloniki. A Thessaloniki court approved an appeal for the removal of the mast, which had been set up a few meters from the grounds of a primary school and kindergarten in the city’s Panorama district. The appeal had been lodged by municipal authorities and the parents of local schoolchildren. Coastal shipping Residents of Kalymnos yesterday staged a protest outside the Merchant Marine Ministry in Piraeus, complaining about inadequate ferry services to the island in the Dodecanese. Tomorrow, strikes and work stoppages in pursuit of better ferry services get under way on several Aegean islands. Education boost Education Minister Marietta Giannakou yesterday discussed the funding of the country’s technical colleges (TEIs) with TEI chiefs. Giannakou said that funding for TEIs had been increased by 20 percent this year but that talks were in progress with the Economy Ministry to secure a further boost. Also yesterday, Giannakou said that the study of a second foreign language at primary school is to become compulsory. Spy chief Greece’s former ambassador to Belgium, Yiannis Korandis, yesterday officially assumed the post of director of Greece’s National Intelligence Service in a ceremony at the Public Order Ministry. Korandis replaces Pavlos Apostolidis who has headed the service for five years.