NEWS

In Brief

DIPLOMACY – Foreign minister meets with FYROM PM, Mideast ambassadors Foreign Minister George Papandreou is to meet with Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia at 8.30 p.m. this evening in Thessaloniki. It was also announced that Papandreou was to meet with Israeli Ambassador in Athens David Sasson at 8.30 a.m. and at noon with the ambassadors of Arab states. Olympic clinic Modern facilities for 2004 athletes, then for residents A three-story clinic to serve the Athens Olympic Village is to be built at a cost of 2.5 billion drachmas by the state-run Depanom hospital construction firm, with completion due in the second half of 2003, Health Minister Alekos Papadopoulos said yesterday. The clinic, which will have outpatient clinics, emergency departments and the most up-to-date diagnostic equipment, including magnetic resonance imaging scanners, will serve the 16,000 athletes and their trainers at the 2004 Olympics and another 6,000 at the Paralympics. After the Games, the clinic will be used by those who are to buy the Village’s housing units from the Workers’ Housing Organization. Mesogeia New land use decree Environment and Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis yesterday announced a draft presidential decree on land use and building restrictions in the Mesogeia plain area following the opening of the new international airport at Spata. The decree allows 4,200 hectares of land to be included in the city zoning area and establishes a 20-stremma (or 2 hectare) limit for the size of land plots where construction is permitted (except for the areas of the Attic Park and Brauron) where the limit is lowered to 10 stremmas. Laliotis said the provisions of the decree, which is to be submitted to the Council of State today, are part of a comprehensive and multi-level plan for the balanced and viable development of the Attica region. Bus walkouts. Employees of Athens’s blue buses will be staging work stoppages between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight today. They are protesting what they say is violence against them by passengers. Ashore. Nearly 300 exhausted Iraqi Kurds arrived in Igoumenitsa late Tuesday night after being picked up from a 25-meter wooden fishing boat adrift off the island of Lefkada. The some 291 illegal immigrants, including 48 women and 64 children, had been heading for Italy from Turkey when their boat, the Tanerim, developed engine trouble. The captain and crew of the boat, who abandoned ship in a dinghy, are still at large. The immigrants had initially refused to be transferred to a Greek passenger ferry but eventually gave in after hours of negotiations. Fifteen of the 291 immigrants were taken to the hospital and the rest to hotels. Euro-lessons. Greek schoolchildren are starting intensive lessons in the euro, which goes into circulation in Greece on January 1, 2002. According to National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, about 99 percent of school pupils have a basic knowledge of the new European currency, although Education Minister Petros Efthymiou put the percentage at about 90 percent. At a joint press conference yesterday, the ministers said about 1,000 teachers were taking seminars on the euro and that school text books contained information on the new currency. Tourist killed. An Austrian tourist fell to his death yesterday from a height of 40 meters next to the lighthouse in the northern port of Kavala. Schoolchildren found the body of Herbert Heble, 61, on a rocky beach at the foot of the lighthouse. A bag belonging to him was found next to the lighthouse. Police believe Heble committed suicide but have not ruled out other causes. Boy shot. A 16-year-old boy was shot in the stomach at his father’s farm near Kimmeria, Xanthi, in northern Greece by an unidentified assailant yesterday. Doctors at Xanthi hospital said the boy was out of danger. Dystos sinking. The Piraeus public prosecutor yesterday asked for the conviction of nine of the 15 people accused in connection with the sinking of the cement-carrier ship Dystos off the coast of Evia in late 1996, which cost 20 lives. Prosecutor Leonidas Nikolopoulos referred to a report by the Supreme Council on Marine Accidents that drew attention to a series of pre-existing problems in the ship’s hull, which had not been properly maintained.