NEWS

In Brief

GREEK-TURKISH TIES

Athens expresses dismay at Ankara’s failure to repeal its ‘casus belli’ Athens yesterday expressed its disappointment with Ankara after reports that Turkey’s National Security Council had decided not to repeal its threat of war (casus belli) against Greece. «In the European context, the logic of casus belli from Turkey is an unacceptable anachronism which will become more obvious as membership negotiations proceed,» said Foreign Ministry Spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos. He also said the threat of war went against international law and the UN charter. F16 PURCHASE US gives green light to billion-euro sale of 40 fighter jets to Greece The US Defense Department confirmed yesterday that it had sanctioned the sale of 40 F16 fighter planes to Greece for some 2.6 billion euros. The deal will include the sale of associated equipment such as night vision goggles, The Associated Press reported. Athens will have to negotiate offset agreements with the various suppliers involved. TENDER LAW EU expects revised version this week The office of EU Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said yesterday that he is expecting the Greek government to supply a revised version of its controversial tender law this week for approval by Brussels. Athens has been in talks since January, when the law, which bans shareholders in media companies from access to state contracts, was passed as it was deemed too strict by Brussels. Fatal bee sting A 72-year-old woman died yesterday after being stung by a bee on the Aegean island of Karpathos. Agapi Reisi died almost immediately despite attempts by fellow villagers to administer first aid. Earlier this month on Karpathos, a 75-year-old man died after being stung by a bee while tending to his hives. Unruly canteens More than one in 10 school canteens inspected by food safety officials this term were found to be operating without a license, the Athens Prefect’s Office said yesterday. Out of 452 canteens checked since the start of the school year, 56 did not have licenses, while 177 were selling products which the law does not permit. The owners of 43 canteens were referred to prosecutors and another 158 were given warnings. Caught in the act An armed robber was arrested yesterday after he was chased by customers from the bank that he had just held up, police said. The man raided a branch of Aspis Bank in Aegaleo, western Athens, but was chased by customers and employees as he tried to make his getaway. With the help of police patrolling the area, he was arrested. Girl killed An 11-year-old girl was killed yesterday when she was run over by a tractor while she was riding her bike in the industrial district of Sindou, Thessaloniki, police said. Rape suspects Three men were arrested yesterday in connection with the rape of a 15-year-old girl on Saturday in Elefsina, west of Athens, police said. The men, aged 23, 25 and 26, allegedly forced the girl into their car and took her to a remote area where she was raped. The girl recognized the 23-year-old man and the car he was driving, according to police, who later tracked down the other two accomplices. DEKA trial The prosecutor in the trial of the former chairman and five board members of the Public Portfolio Management Company (DEKA) yesterday asked for the defendants’ objections to the trial to be rejected. The Athens appeals court is set to decide on Monday whether to proceed with the case, in which the men have been charged with buying up shares in the runup to the April 2000 general elections which then lost value and ended up costing the state some 700 million euros.