In Brief


Greece good example of benefits of enlargement, EC president says European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso cited Greece, in a statement made public yesterday, as an example of the benefits of EU expansion on the occasion of the 25th anniversary since the country joined the Union. «The accession of Greece, Spain and Portugal made Europe bigger and stronger,» said Barroso. «If they continue to progress over the next years as they have over the last decades, then they – and Europe as a whole – can look forward to a very bright future indeed.» CYPRUS PLANS? Christofias expects UN and USA to launch new initiative within weeks Cypriot parliamentary speaker and head of communist party AKEL Dimitris Christofias said yesterday that he expects the United Nations and the USA to launch a new initiative at the end of this month or in February to reunite the island. Christofias said that for a new reunification plan to work, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan would need to remain neutral and Turkey would need to understand that it could not just make cursory changes to the failed Annan plan. TEXT SURGE Well-wishers churn out messages Mobile phones were popular again this year among well-wishers during the festive period, according to the country’s mobile phone companies. More than 185 million text messages were sent between December 24 and January 1 on the networks of Vodafone, Cosmote, TIM and Q-Telecom. In the first hour of the year, nearly 8 million SMS messages were sent by Vodafone and Cosmote users alone. Evros rising The Evros prefecture and regional authorities for Eastern Macedonia and Thrace went on standby yesterday following a rise in the water levels of the Evros River, swollen by days of heavy rain and melting snow in the region. At Pythion, north of Didymoteicho, the river level yesterday evening had risen to 4.80 meters – just over the standby level of 4.70 meters. Prefectural authorities yesterday warned locals to stay away from the riverside and keep animals and agricultural equipment a safe distance away. Suzuki recall Suzuki dealer Sfakianakis said yesterday it will recall 50 AY50A Katana motorbikes sold in Greece due to a problem with the brake fluid. The motorbikes have identification numbers ranging from 100156 to 100227. Coin trade Three Iranian nationals were arrested in Athens last week as they tried to sell three ancient Greek coins for 17,000 euros, the Finance Ministry’s Special Investigation Service (SIS) said yesterday. Police found an army knife and a small amount of cannabis on the three detained men. The men were taken to an Athens prosecutor. Port problems Passengers and cars will be able to continue using the port of Karlovasi on the island of Samos, authorities said yesterday after banning trucks from accessing the area due to a structural problem with the port’s main ramp. Trucks wanting to leave Samos can only board ferries at the island’s other port of Vathi. Santa sites The Greek Consumer Organization EKATO warned parents yesterday about their children looking for Santa Claus on the Internet on websites that feature Father Christmas but also call for personal details, such as credit card numbers. Ekato said that parents should supervise children surfing the Net, especially if they are under the age of 12, as there have also been occasions where pedophiles set up such sites to lure victims. Passport tips Authorities yesterday gave some pointers on how people should appear in passport photos after confusion arose due to the new passport procedures recently adopted. Passports, now issued by police stations, must have a photo that is not more than a month old, is 40mm by 60mm and shows the person square on, not at an angle.

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