Stylianidis, Yushchenko agree to boost economic, political cooperation Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis and Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko agreed to boost economic ties in Kiev on Sunday, the day of Yushchenko’s official inauguration, the ministry said yesterday. Ministry officials are to visit Ukraine later this year to participate in a joint ministerial committee to plan joint ventures on the economic, political and cultural levels, it said. Yushchenko said he hoped Greek firms would participate in planned privatizations, the ministry added. IMMIGRANT CENTER Mayor launches new Athens service Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis yesterday inaugurated the new immigrants’ service of Athens Municipality’s Social Welfare Department in Metaxourgeio. The service has the capacity to handle 80,000 residence permit applications every year, Bakoyannis said. The building housing the service will also accommodate a trans-cultural center which will offer Greek language lessons to immigrants and host cultural activities, she added. Cyprus talks Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos is due in Athens today for two days of talks about the situation in Cyprus with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, President Costis Stephanopoulos and party leaders. Turkish-Cypriot administration head Mehmet Ali Talat is today due in Brussels for talks with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn, Agence France-Presse quoted Talat’s office as saying yesterday. Afghan unit Greece is providing the international force in Afghanistan with a medical unit, 40 percent of which will be staffed by Greeks, government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said yesterday. The unit, which will have the capacity to treat up to 30 patients at once, is to operate for 18 months, Antonaros said. The mikssion will cost an estimated 6 million euros. Antonaros stressed that Greece was not contributing soldiers for active service in Afghanistan. Firemen’s trial An Athens court yesterday started hearing the appeals of three fire service officers found guilty of the manslaughter through negligence of two firemen in July 1999 after a fire engine fell into a Mount Hymettus ravine above the Athens suburb of Voula. The father of Andreas Bosinas, who was driving the fire engine with Pavlos Skourtis, told the court that senior officers had known of faults in the vehicle including its defective brakes. Snow problems Snowfall caused problems across much of the road networks of Macedonia and Thrace yesterday, tormenting drivers who had failed to put anti-skid chains on their wheels (photo). The northern prefecture of Epiros was also badly affected. Temperatures dropped to a low of -10C (14F) in the Drama village of Kato Nevrokopi. Frantzis rebuffed A Piraeus court yesterday rejected an appeal for parole by a man serving a life sentence for the murder of his 18-year-old wife. The three-judge appeals council ruled that Panayiotis Frantzis has shown no evidence of remorse for his actions, adding that his appeal did not include a psychiatric opinion of his mental health. Frantzis killed and dismembered Zoi Garmani in June 1987. Hash haul Border police yesterday confiscated 137 kilos of cannabis discovered in Delvinaki, near the Albanian border. Officers believe the drugs were smuggled over the border by Albanian nationals for collection by their associates in Greece.