In Brief


Brussels gives Athens 15 days to reply over EU compatibility The European Commission yesterday made public the warning letter it is sending the Greek government asking for a reply within 15 days about the compatibility of a law, passed by the PASOK government in 2002, banning media shareholders from access to state contracts. Brussels said, however, it has already received information from Athens which suggests that Greece is taking measures to ensure the law conforms to EU rules. The Commission said it is «analyzing» the communications. IRENAIOS SETBACK Palestinians reject report doubting former patriarch’s guilt on land deals The Palestinian Authority said yesterday that a report published this week purporting to be from a Palestinian cabinet committee – and saying that there was no evidence that former Jerusalem Patriarch Irenaios was aware of deals to lease prime Church properties – was not an official document. The Authority said that the content of the report did not reflect the official Palestinian positions made public in May, when it approved the Patriarchate’s decision to sack Irenaios. SMELLY WATER Popular Zagori brand withdrawn The food safety watchdog EFET yesterday said it was recalling the popular brand of bottled mineral water Zagori, after complaints by customers who said it had a peculiar smell. EFET said the recall affects bottles with a May 2006 expiration date and that the manufacturer, Hittos, was helping to expedite the withdrawal. The company said the problem was caused by an error in the production of the bottles. Votanikos development Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis yesterday submitted plans to the Finance Ministry for the redevelopment of the area of Votanikos near the city center. If approved, the project will be the first in a series of private-public partnerships planned by the government. Panathinaikos soccer club will share the costs of the Votanikos redevelopment since it will build its new stadium and sports complex there. The site of Panathinaikos’s current stadium on central Alexandras Avenue will also be refurbished. Biofuel threat The European Commission yesterday sent Greece, as well as eight other EU member states, a «reasoned opinion» warning Athens that it would be hauled before the European Court of Justice because of its failure to encourage the use of biofuels. Kabul hospital A Greek mobile army surgical hospital with 30 medical personnel and 20 support staff will be operational at Kabul airport in Afghanistan by the middle of August, sources said yesterday. It will operate for 18 months and will be the second-largest military hospital in the country. Dead fish Local officials in the prefecture of Trikala in central Greece said yesterday they had discovered a number of dead fish in the nearby stretch of the Pinios River, which flows through the plain of Thessaly and is used by farmers for irrigation. Authorities said the problem was probably caused by pollution in the river. Hash truck Police yesterday seized a truck carrying 116 kilos of cannabis after the driver failed to stop at a routine traffic checkpoint in the Ioannina area, near the border with Albania. The driver abandoned the truck and escaped into a wooded area, officers said. Flip-flop flop Officers at a prison in Hania, Crete found two bundles containing eight grams of cannabis each, hidden in a hollowed-out pair of flip-flops that were posted to an inmate, authorities said yesterday. The drugs were detected by a sniffer dog, according to officers. Dog attack Two pit bulls attacked a two-year-old boy late Tuesday in the beachside area of Voula, authorities said yesterday. The two dogs also attacked the boy’s aunt and uncle, who tried to free the child from the dog’s jaws. The boy was immediately taken to the hospital and police arrested the dogs’ owner early yesterday. Hotel drugs A 48-year-old man was arrested in Crete yesterday after police found seven cannabis trees growing in the garden of the hotel he co-owned.

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