NEWS

In Brief

BOMBS DEFUSED

Police thwart two attempted bomb attacks in central Athens Police early yesterday set off controlled explosions to destroy homemade bombs that had been planted in two locations in central Athens – outside the coroner’s office in Mets and on the sidewalk of a street in Vyronas. Police were comparing how the two bombs had been made to determine whether they had been planted by the same group. There had been no warning for either of the attempted attacks. GREEK-AUSTRIAN TIES Presidents back European Constitution, differ on stances toward Turkey President Karolos Papoulias and his Austrian counterpart Heinz Fischer agreed that the recent French and Dutch votes against the European Constitution should not stop the process toward the treaty’s ratification. Following talks in Vienna, Papoulias stressed Greece’s support for Turkey’s eventual accession to the EU, while Fischer stressed that objections to enlargement highlighted by the French and Dutch votes should be looked at closely. AIR FORCE SUSPENSION Officer caught cultivating hash An air force officer has been suspended for 12 months after police discovered that he had been cultivating a small hashish farm – comprising 56 cannabis trees – on the island of Samos, the Defense Ministry said yesterday. «The system of values and principles upon which we have built our armed forces is no place for the very few who cannot shoulder the weight of the responsibility that being a Greek officer entails,» Deputy Defense Minister Vassilis Michaloliakos said. Giving blood City Hall yesterday called upon citizens to give blood for the disabled today, on the occasion of World Blood Donor Day. Prospective donors should visit the City of Athens Cultural Center at 50 Akademias Street between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. The need for blood has increased sharply over the past few years said the Health Ministry. Nearly half of blood donors in Greece are regular volunteers and the other half are relatives of patients, the ministry said. London visit Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is scheduled to make his first visit to London’s Downing Street on June 30 for talks with his British counterpart Tony Blair. The agenda for talks will include Turkey’s European Union bid, for which Blair is eager to gain Greek backing before Britain assumes the EU presidency next month, according to diplomats. Speedboat accident A 67-year-old foreigner was killed and his 68-year-old companion seriously injured on Sunday after the speedboat in which they were traveling crashed into an islet in the Pagasitic Gulf, coast guard officials in Volos said yesterday. It was unclear why the two men lost control of the vessel, which belonged to the 67-year-old. The 68-year-old was hospitalized in Volos. Neither of the men were identified. Fund-raising concert Veteran songstress Nana Mouskouri is to play a concert in the northern town of Komotini on Saturday to raise funds for a United Nations initiative to combat hunger, Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis said yesterday during a press conference with Mouskouri, who is a UN goodwill ambassador. Stylianidis said the ministry-backed event, which will be broadcast live on state television, would be the first of a series of Greek humanitarian initiatives. Yacht rescued A British-flagged yacht ran aground near an islet off the coast of Porto Heli on Sunday but none of the four people aboard the vessel were injured, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. The Final Fling started foundering after suffering a gash in the right side of its stern but was towed to shore before it could sink, the ministry said. Turkish violations Thirteen Turkish fighter jets violated Greek air space in the northern and central Aegean five times yesterday, military sources in Athens said. Two of the jets were photo-reconnaissance Phantoms. Cholesterol tests Free cholesterol tests will be available between 9.30 a.m. and 3.30 p.m. today at the premises of the Panhellenic Renal Patients Association at 28 Marni Street in central Athens.