NEWS

In Brief

WWII REPARATIONS

Supreme Court rapporteur proposes rejecting Distomo massacre suit Residents of a village in central Greece whose relatives were massacred by German occupying forces in 1944 may have to take their compensation claims to the government after the Supreme Court rapporteur yesterday proposed rejecting such claims on the grounds that they must be approved by the Minister of Justice, court sources said. Residents of Distomo, Viotia, had sought the confiscation of German state property in Athens including the Goethe Institute and the German Archaeology School to exact reparation from the German state. OLYMPIC PARTS National carrier defends policy on spares purchases Olympic Airways managers have insisted on the state airline procuring spare parts for its aircraft either from the manufacturer or from reliable suppliers, managers said yesterday, in response to the implications of last week’s allegations that Italian and US firms have sold used airline parts they passed off as new or properly inspected. SUSPECT CHICKEN Over 5 tons could contain PCBs Food monitoring (EFET) officials suspect 5.4 tons of poultry confiscated on Tuesday from two Athens suppliers could be toxic imports from Belgium, reports said yesterday. 4,000 kilos of the meat had been refrigerated on January 11- three days after toxic substances known as PCBs were detected in Belgian poultry, said EFET officials, who announced they would conduct tests and destroy the meat if it is found to have come from suspect Belgian farms. Meanwhile, 30 tons of contaminated beef – from Belgium, France and Germany – has been confiscated from nine traders at Rendi meat market. Olympic ‘sweatshop’ Labor Minister Dimitris Reppas yesterday pledged to take action to safeguard the health and safety of Olympic Village construction workers, who on Tuesday gave him a petition complaining their working conditions were tantamount to «modern-day sweatshops». Reppas said conditions would be monitored following an assessment by labor inspection officials, who yesterday issued five warnings and fines for inadequate safety measures. Workers are complaining of inadequate access to drinking water, toilets, changing rooms and an absence of ambulances and doctors on site. Albanian convicted An Athens appeals court yesterday passed a 30-month jail sentence – suspended for three years – on an Albanian youth who caused a riot squad officer to suffer first-degree burns after attacking him with a Molotov cocktail during a 1999 demonstration in Syntagma Square. Arban Perlala, 20, who faced eight-and-a-half years in jail, was found guilty of most of the charges brought against him, including arson, possession of explosives and causing grievous bodily harm. Afghan contingent The first nine soldiers of the 146-strong Greek contingent destined to join the British-led international peacekeeping force in Afghanistan arrived in Pakistan yesterday aboard an airforce transport airplane. Doctors strike State hospital doctors begin a 48-hour strike today with salary increases topping their list of demands. They are demanding equal pay to their EU counterparts who, they say, currently earn nearly twice as much as they do. Turtle protection The European Court yesterday condemned Greece for its failure to legislate an effective system of protection for the Caretta caretta sea turtles living off the coast of the Ionian island of Zakynthos. The court ruled that a legislative framework to safeguard and promote the reproduction of the endangered species had not been implemented – in contravention of an EC directive issued in 1992. Soldiers’ trial Three Greek-Cypriot soldiers, allegedly behind a weapons raid on an army post near Nicosia earlier this month, have been committed for trial on March 5, court sources said yesterday. National guardsmen Antonis Nicolaou, 19, and Evgenios Zachariou, 21, and Panicos Papanicolaou, 23, are charged with armed robbery and the illegal possession and transit of firearms and explosives. Nicolaou and Zachariou are also charged with conspiracy to commit a crime. Meanwhile, police in Cyprus yesterday confiscated an arms cache – including a machine gun, grenades, handguns and dynamite – from the Aradippos area.