Athens and Ankara both want Karamanlis visit to go ahead Athens is still negotiating with Ankara to fix a date for a visit to Turkey by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said yesterday in reaction to questions about whether the trip had been canceled. His remarks were mirrored in Turkey, where government spokesman Akif Beki said that the «desire» for the visit still existed and talks to arrange a specific date were ongoing. RESIDENCY PERMITS Migrants have 2 months to renew The government will extend a deadline for immigrants seeking a residency permit by two months until the end of the year, the Interior Ministry said yesterday. The decision applies to migrants whose residency or work permits have expired since June 2004 and which have not been renewed. Alexander shielded One of the three shields that was stolen from the statue of Alexander the Great in Thessaloniki last month was replaced yesterday after a fruitless search to find the original. The Municipality of Thessaloniki commissioned sculptor Evangelos Moustakas, who built the statue, to make a replacement shield after it became apparent that the original would not be found. Moustakas placed the shield at the site on the city’s waterfront himself. Card fraudsters Two men, aged 65 and 24, allegedly swindled stores in Athens and Piraeus out of 550,000 euros in electrical goods by using stolen credit cards, police said yesterday after arresting the duo. The men posed as tradesmen to convince store managers to sell them large quantities of goods, police said. Officers said they found 250,000 euros’ worth of products in a warehouse in Palaio Faliron. Parnitha murder Two men have been arrested for the murder of 35-year-old Iordanis Papadopoulos, who was shot dead in March near the Olympic mountain bike track on Mount Parnitha, police said yesterday. The suspects were not named but officers said that they shot Papadopoulos with a Kalashnikov automatic weapon and a revolver because he had been having an affair with the partner of one of the gunmen. Officers said the two men were arrested on Saturday at an apartment in central Athens. Roadblock An elderly farmer takes a break at the Aigion junction on the Patras-Corinth national road which was blocked by protesters yesterday, causing traffic problems. Farmers are demanding the state buy up their products as well as compensation for crops destroyed by cold snaps last year. Rapists caught Two Albanian nationals aged 21 and 24 were arrested yesterday in connection with the rape of two 15-year-old girls in Athens, police said. The girls, also Albanian nationals, met the men at a bar in Amerikis Square. After sharing drinks with them, the men allegedly took the girls to a remote spot on Mount Hymettus, where they allegedly raped and robbed their underage victims. The two men were arrested after the girls provided a description of their alleged attackers. Illegal immigrants Coast guards said yesterday they detained 15 illegal immigrants on the island of Lesvos who had just crossed over from Turkey. The immigrants told authorities that they had come over on three inflatable boats which they claim to have destroyed upon their arrival in the country. In a separate incident, four men were arrested in Kastoria, close to the Greek-Albanian border, for allegedly smuggling into the country 13 illegal immigrants on three separate occasions. Prankster arrested Police arrested a man in Thessaloniki yesterday for allegedly making a prank call at the end of July this year to the city’s Macedonia Airport about a bomb being placed in the building, which resulted in the disruption of flights.