NEWS

PM asks Turkey to revise stance

As the government keeps its finger on the diplomatic pulse quickened by a midair collision between Greek and Turkish fighter jets on Tuesday, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis called on Turkey yesterday to revise its stance toward Greece and the European Union. Karamanlis told Parliament that Turkey should abandon tactics that do not suit the good-neighborly relations required for the country to join the EU. «Turkey should help in improving bilateral ties. Only in this way can it continue on its course toward the EU,» the prime minister said. On Tuesday, the two military planes crashed into each other near the island of Karpathos. The Turkish pilot ejected from his plane and was later rescued but his Greek counterpart has yet to be found and is feared dead. Authorities yesterday extended rescue efforts for Captain Costas Iliakis for another 48 hours. Athens and Ankara sought to maintain calm over the incident as they decide on their next diplomatic steps, careful not to harm tourism industries, vital to both countries. Tourism Minister Fanni Palli-Petralia said that the incident, which made news around the world, is not expected to hurt the number of visitors arriving in Greece this summer. «The steps taken by the Greek side secure the absolute safety of air navigation and will not have an impact on tourism. I consider that this year will be a good one for Greece,» she said.