NEWS

In Brief

ALBANIAN TIES

FM plays down Papoulias incident, PM’s aide criticizes Tirana gov’t Albanian Foreign Minister Besnik Mustafai yesterday played down the waves created by Greek President Karolos Papoulias’s refusal to meet his Albanian counterpart Alfred Moisiu in Sarande earlier this week, insisting that Greek-Albanian ties remained strong. But an adviser to Albanian Prime Minister Mero Baze, who was not identified, criticized Moisiu and Albanian police for failing to move the meeting away from the demonstration that provoked Papoulias to cancel the scheduled meeting. GREEK-ITALIAN PIPELINE Ministers sign 950-mln-euro pact to bring gas from Turkey to Italy Greece’s Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas and Italy’s Industry Minister Claudio Scajola yesterday signed a 300-million-euro accord to construct a pipeline bringing oil from Turkey through Greece to Puglia, on Italy’s southeastern coast. Work on the 200-kilometer pipeline is due to start in 2007 and continue until 2010. The project «effectively transforms (Greece, Italy) and Turkey into a transit hub for natural gas from the Caspian to major western markets,» Sioufas said after the signing. ATHENS MARATHON Traffic disruptions due tomorrow Traffic will be subject to disruption in the city center between 8 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. tomorrow as the Athens Classic Marathon gets under way. Mesogeion, Vassilissis Sofias and Vassileos Constantinou avenues will be affected as the marathon culminates at the Panathenaic Stadium. Cocaine trial The trial of businessman Alexandros Angelopoulos, who is accused of transporting 4.5 tons of cocaine from Brazil to Europe, was postponed yesterday until Wednesday. Angelopoulos, aged 41, and five other men allegedly transported the cocaine in a fishing boat called Africa 1 caught in July 2004 off the coast of Spain. Iceland arrest A 33-year-old Albanian national, accused of killing a fellow countryman in the Athenian district of Ampelokipi, was detained in Iceland yesterday. Local authorities said that the man had been in Iceland for the last 10 months and was caught after Greek police tipped off Interpol officials. Priest manhunt A 72-year-old man was in critical condition in a hospital in Ioannina, central Greece, after being physically attacked by his brother, who is also the village priest. Police said yesterday that the 68-year-old priest attacked his brother over a difference in property ownership between the two of them on Thursday afternoon. Police were conducting a manhunt for the priest late yesterday. Cyprus doctors Disgruntled Cypriot doctors are threatening to sail away from the Mediterranean island to stage a strike if their demands for better working conditions are not met. Stavros Stavrou, head of the state doctors’ union, told Reuters yesterday that his members planned to emulate some foreign peers and take their protest offshore. He said the union was talking to a cruise ship operator about an all-expenses-paid trip for more than 500 physicians. «The French and the Belgians did it, but since we don’t have land borders we are thinking of going out to sea where they can’t get to us,» Stavrou said. (Reuters) Teachers strike Kindergarten and primary school teachers will go on strike on Thursday and Friday in a bid to obtain increased funding for the country’s education sector. Illegal cigarettes Authorities uncovered at a storage area in Keratsini, southwestern Athens, yesterday 900,000 packets of cigarettes that were being smuggled into Greece from China. Police said that two men were arrested in connection to the tobacco products that were also carrying with them forged import documents. Defense committee Defense Minister Spilios Spiliotopoulos has called a session of Parliament’s Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday to inform them about the government’s recent decision to buy F-16 fighter jets.