NEWS

In Brief

FARMERS

Protesters withdraw from Tempe but tractors on standby elsewhere Thessaly cotton producers yesterday withdrew from the Tempe highway tollgates, following Monday’s decision to suspend further roadblock action until the end of the month. But farmers in Serres are today due to block the road toward Promachonas in protest at charges lodged against them for obstructing traffic. They are due to meet with Agricultural Development Minister Evangelos Bassiakos tomorrow. Farmers in Yiannitsa are also due to stay put at the Paralimni junction until tomorrow when they are also due to meet with Bassiakos. Protesting farmers affiliated with the Communist Party also stood their ground. CONFLICTING INTERESTS State-employed journalists named The Athens Journalists’ Union (ESIEA) yesterday published on its website the names of 1,050 journalists who held posts in government ministries, press offices or state media – but not organizations in the broader state sector, such as at public utilities and banks – during 2003. It was unclear how many of these also held other media jobs at the same time. Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos, who gave ESIEA the list, said state organizations do not usually publish the names of the journalists they employ, adding that he would provide ESIEA with these details in the next few days. Aegean violations Eight formations of Turkish fighter jets yesterday violated Greek national air space eight times in the central and northern Aegean and east of Rhodes, military sources said. In all cases, the 22 Turkish jets were chased off by Greek fighter jets and in two cases the planes engaged in simulated dogfights, the sources said. Weather woes Fishermen in the Corinthian Gulf make the most of calm seas yesterday ahead of a deterioration in weather conditions forecast from today. Heavy rain and storms are expected across Attica from this afternoon, with snow due to fall in mountainous areas overnight. Local authorities and rescue services nationwide will be on standby today after the General Secretariat for Civil Protection issued a storm warning. ‘Clean’ energy Greece is among European Union states that are lagging in their use of renewable energy sources, European Commissioner for Energy Andris Piebalgs said yesterday in response to a question by Synaspismos Left Coalition MEP Dimitris Papadimoulis. «Administrative barriers and grid connection problems appear to be hampering the exploitation of the country’s significant potential,» Piebalgs said. Information society A European Union-subsidized project to encourage firms to invest in information technology in the private and public sector is to be realized in the coming months, Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis said yesterday after a Cabinet meeting. The project has a total budget of 2.7 billion euros, a figure that includes EU subsidies and companies’ contributions, he said. Last visit President Costis Stephanopoulos yesterday met with King Albert and Queen Paola of Belgium as well as Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt on the first day of a two-day visit, his last official trip abroad as president. He is due to return to Athens tomorrow. Soccer thugs Fourteen soccer fans identified in video footage as participating in riots ahead of a scheduled match between Olympiakos and Panionios in Nea Smyrni last month are to face a prosecutor, Attica police said yesterday.