NEWS

In Brief

CYPRUS TALKS

Clerides, Denktash to meet twice again before end of first phase Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash will meet again twice this month, before taking a break until March 1, from face-to-face talks they have been holding at the disused Nicosia airport since the beginning of this year with the aim of unifying the war-divided island. The two leaders, who yesterday discussed the future areas to be covered by Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot communities under a settlement, meet today and again on February 19, before the recess. The agenda from March 1 onward will be Tuesday afternoon and Friday morning meetings, after the two men decided that longer meetings with larger breaks in between would be a more effective strategy. MIDDLE EAST TALKS Papandreou meets PNC Chairman after talks with Knesset speaker Foreign Minister George Papandreou today meets Palestine National Council (PNC) Chairman Salim Zaanoun following the minister’s discussions yesterday with the chairman of the Israeli Parliament, Avrahum Burg, who today ends his two-day official visit to Greece. Papandreou and Burg discussed recent developments in the Middle East and the possible role of the EU, and Greece, in the peace process, which Papandreou said was equally important to Greece as maintaining good relations with Israel. Burg said Greece’s experience in easing strained relations in the Balkans was a valuable model for the Middle East. DOG-LOVERS Cypriot MPs debate Chinese diet Cyprus’s assistant attorney-general, Petros Clerides, told the country’s Parliamentary committee on agriculture yesterday that he would check whether it is really legal to eat cats and dogs on the island republic, following Wednesday’s revelation that six Chinese students in Nicosia were found to have eaten an unspecified number of dogs. Committee Chairman Christos Mavrokordatos said such dietary habits should be penalized. Against human cloning The Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus yesterday confirmed its position against human cloning, which it said goes against the moral principles of Christianity but also of humankind. The statement was issued after several long sessions overseen by Archbishop Chrysostomos. Pupil’s suicide An 18-year-old pupil of a technical high school in Livadia, west of Athens in the prefecture of Viotia, has killed himself over poor school marks, reports said yesterday. The young man reportedly locked himself in the bathroom at his grandfather’s home, after seeing his father, and shot himself. Moschato carnival The Moschato station platform on the Athens-Kifissia electric railway (ISAP) is the location for the Moschato municipality’s annual carnival, whose theme this year is seeing off the drachma, and which kicks off tomorrow. Dressed in costumes representing various drachma notes and coins, carnival participants will bid farewell to the Greek currency which will end circulation at the end of this month. They will be joined on Moschato station – which is due to close with ISAP’s imminent modernization – by ballet dancers, stilt-walkers, and majorettes. Translation service The Foreign Ministry’s translation service will move from Voukourestiou St to new offices on Arionos St in Athens’s Psyrri district on Monday, February 25. It will open for business the following day. Fraud An Athens couple who allegedly used fake identities to exact an estimated 75,000 euros from several banks were arrested yesterday after police caught up with one of the pair as he left a bank in the southern suburb of Glyfada carrying a credit card in a false name. Giorgos Papastergiou, 55, and Nomiki Kountouri, 57, allegedly used forged documents, tax statements and identity cards bearing the names of Giorgos Pappas and Fereniki Sklyvanou to secure consumer loans and credit cards from six major banks. Prostitution bust Athens police yesterday arrested two Greek women who allegedly profited by forcing into prostitution at least six Eastern European women in rented flats in the seaside location of Voula. Eleni Michailou, 59, and Evangelia Panourgia, 51, allegedly sold the services of two Moldovians, three Russians and an Albanian woman in exchange for 60 euros a visit – half of which would go to Michailou.