NEWS

In Brief

CULTURE VULTURES

PASOK MPs complain that culture ministry is not fulfilling its role PASOK MPs submitted yesterday a written complaint to Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, who is also the culture minister, accusing the ministry of failing to do its job properly. The deputies said the Culture Ministry had «failed totally» in its handling of cultural matters and in representing Greece at international events. The MPs also accused the ministry of not taking advantage of the Athens Olympics sites and said that Greece was risking international ridicule with its organization of Patras 2006 – European Cultural Capital. SERBIAN APPEAL President asks Greece for backing Serbian President Boris Tadic appealed to Greece to bolster his country’s economy and help it solve its various political problems during a speech in Athens late on Tuesday. As the «capital of the Balkans,» Greece can play a key role in boosting Serbia’s development and thus encourage stability in the whole region, Tadic told an audience of politicians, businessmen and reporters in Athens. Turkish violations A total of 32 Turkish fighter jets violated Greek national air space in the northern and central Aegean 12 times yesterday, defense officials said. In all cases the Turkish jets were chased off by Greek planes and there were two simulated dogfights, the officials said. Asthma attack One in 10 10-year-olds living in Athens or Thessaloniki suffers from asthma, Greek doctors marking the 150th anniversary of Athens University’s pediatric clinic said yesterday. Some 6.5 percent of children of the same age in Patras suffer from the breathing disorder, which can be made worse by pollution. The proportion of children in the countryside who have asthma is slightly lower, the doctors said. Ancient city Greek archaeologists have unearthed the fortifications of a 2,350-year-old city on Crete marked by extensive signs of siege, Culture Ministry officials said yesterday. The archaeologists discovered the remains of a fortified tower, a city gate and a 3.5-kilometer (2.2-mile) wall surrounding the ancient city of Aptera, near the port of Hania and dating to 4 BC, the ministry said. Of particular importance to research were signs of battle from the post-Classical era, and the discovery of newborn infants buried near the tower. (AFP) Giant shark Fishermen in Halkidiki, northern Greece, got a big surprise yesterday when they found a 9-meter shark weighing 2.5 tons tangled in their net. Due to the size of the Cetorhinus maximus, commonly known as the basking shark, the fisherman were forced to tow the creature to shore, where a truck transported it to a fish market in Kavala where it was put on display. Careless thief A suspected bank robber was arrested in Thessaloniki yesterday after police tracked him down by the fingerprints found on a plastic bag he had discarded during the alleged theft. Investigating officers tracked down a man who was known to police in the past when they matched the fingerprints left on the bag. When questioned by authorities, the man told police that the armed robbery was committed by his 23-year-old brother who authorities later found and arrested. Salty warning The Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) warned companies selling salt products yesterday that they have three months to conform with proper labeling on their packaging. EFET said that none of the salt products checked had the right health warnings and that more than 80 percent failed to display a complete list of the product’s ingredients.