In Brief


Plan to save lake gets green light after EU approves millions in aid A 57-million-euro program to save Lake Koroneia, east of Thessaloniki, was given the go-ahead yesterday after an EU committee agreed to finance 75 percent of the project from the Cohesion Fund, authorities said. The rest of the money will be provided by the Greek State. The program aims to restore the lake’s ecosystem and create a protected wetland. In September 2004, hundreds of birds died at the lake after dangerous bacteria, exacerbated by pollution, were detected in the water. ORGAN DONATION Greece in penultimate position among 25 EU member states, Kyprianou says Greece ranks second to last among European Union states in the number of citizens designating themselves as organ donors in case of death, the EU’s Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, Markos Kyprianou, said yesterday. There were only six organ donors per 1 million inhabitants in Greece in 2004 – that is 66 donors that year, Kyprianou said in response to a question submitted by New Democracy Euro MP Costas Hadzidakis. Only Luxembourg had a worse record. EMERGENCY LANDING Cypriot plane suffers engine problems A Cyprus Airways flight made an emergency landing at Athens International Airport yesterday after experiencing engine problems. Authorities said the plane, which had left Larnaca airport and was headed to Moscow, was in Greek air space when the pilot discovered a malfunction with one of its engines. The A-320 Airbus landed safely and the 147 passengers on board were scheduled to reach Moscow on another aircraft. Theoklitos returns Archbishop Christodoulos, the head of the Church of Greece, yesterday awarded Theoklitos, the former bishop of Thessaliotis, the titular position of Bishop of Vresthenis. Theoklitos resigned from his previous post last February, citing pressure from aides of Christodoulos, in the wake of allegations that he was involved in drug dealing. However, the Holy Synod cleared him of the accusations in July. Youths convicted An Iraklion court yesterday passed down suspended 18-month jail sentences to six youths who caused trouble outside a police station in the Cretan port in December 2003 after a 22-year-old friend of theirs was shot dead by police. The six youths were found guilty of disturbing the peace and damaging public property outside Iraklion police headquarters a few days after officers shot and fatally injured Iraklis Maragakis for refusing to stop at a roadblock. Supermarket closed Officials from Piraeus Prefecture temporarily closed down a local supermarket yesterday after inspectors discovered it was selling products past their expiration date. This was the third time that prefecture employees had found dated products being sold at the Piraeus branch of the Bazaar supermarket chain. Border arrests Police arrested six Albanian men yesterday in the area of Papalakos, on the Greek-Albanian border, as they tried to enter the country with a truck transporting 232 kilos of cannabis and 94 bullets. Four men escaped and ran back to Albania after police stopped the truck on the border point for an inspection, while the six detained were taken to a prosecutor. Helios report A draft report on the causes of the Helios air crash north of Athens last August will be ready by the end of February, the head of the investigating team, Akrivos Tsolakis, said yesterday. All 121 people on board the flight from Larnaca were killed in the crash. Tsolakis met with Cypriot Transport Minister Haris Thrasou yesterday and is due to stay on in Cyprus to wrap up the final part of his investigation. Sturdy schools Checks to discover older schools’ resistance to earthquakes are will be completed within the next few months, Deputy Education Minister Giorgos Kalos told Parliament yesterday. So far, 2,350 out of 3,324 school buildings built before 1959 have been checked by engineers. Kalos said that 10 million euros had been set aside to cover the cost of the next phase in the project, which involves checks on newer schools built between 1959 and 1985.

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