NEWS

In Brief

EU REPORT

FM speaks of ‘great success,’ FYROM proposal ‘to be studied’ Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis yesterday spoke of Greece’s «great success in Brussels» after the European Union’s progress report set out stricter guidelines for candidate member Turkey. «All issues of specific interest to Greece and Cyprus were covered in a very satisfactory fashion,» Molyviatis said. Meanwhile, Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis said Greece would study the text of an EU recommendation for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s candidacy ahead of next month’s summit in Brussels where the proposal is to be endorsed. OPAP INVESTIGATION Prosecutor to probe reports that sporting figures won string of bets Chief prosecutor Dimitris Papangelopoulos yesterday ordered a preliminary investigation into reports which appeared in Kathimerini that people from the sporting world, including match referees and board members at soccer clubs, had allegedly been regular winners at betting games run by operator OPAP. JORDAN ATTACKS Greece condemns deadly bombings Greece yesterday officially condemned the terrorist attacks in Jordan on Wednesday night which left 56 people dead and some 100 wounded. In a letter to his Jordanian counterpart Adnan Badran, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said he condemned the bombings in the «strongest possible terms» and emphasized Greece’s «strong commitment» to fighting terrorism. Istanbul protest Education and Religion Minister Marietta Giannakou played down a demonstration by some 100 Turkish nationalists outside the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul yesterday. She said the stance of the Turkish government was more important than the acts of a «small group of extremists.» The protesters, including extremists from the Gray Wolves faction, were attempting to prevent a meeting between Patriarch Vartholomaios and a delegation of four bishops from Cyprus. Anarchists attack About 40 anarchists threw rocks and paint at the entrance of the French Institute in Thessaloniki late yesterday in what they said was an act of support for rioters in France. The youths, wearing hoods and crash helmets, were holding a banner which read «The rebellious are justified.» Police said that no one was hurt in the incident. Simitis forecast Former PASOK prime minister Costas Simitis yesterday predicted early general elections. He said the best time for the government to face early polls would be in the fall of 2007 but he did not rule out the possibility of even earlier elections. Reacting to criticism that his newly published memoir cast current PASOK leader George Papandreou in a bad light, Simitis said, «I have always worked for the unity of PASOK.» Migrants intercepted Border guards yesterday detained 61 illegal immigrants from Kashmir after stopping and searching a truck on the Alexandroupolis-Komotini national road. A 21-year-old Albanian, the suspected smuggler, was also detained. US Embassy The US Embassy in Athens, including the consular section, the US Consulate General in Thessaloniki, and all US government offices in Greece will be closed today in observance of Veterans’ Day, an official US national holiday. Fuel fines Twenty-two owners of fuel trucks have been referred to a prosecutor after checks by Development Ministry inspectors found that they had breached the law on 32 different occasions. The checks on 192 lorries, which took place in the last 20 days of October, found that trucks lacked the proper paperwork and carried petrol quantities other than those declared. Mild earthquake A mild earthquake shook the island of Karpathos early yesterday, authorities said, but there were no reports of injuries or damage. The tremor registered 4.3 on the Richter scale.