NEWS

In Brief

ALEX PROBE

Psychologists have up to 3 months to examine five schoolboy suspects Child psychologists have up to three months to examine the five schoolboys who allegedly admitted to killing 11-year-old Alex Meshivili in Veria, sources said yesterday. A local prosecutor has demanded reports from the psychologists to help clear up whether the children were telling the truth. Police sources also said that officers were looking into new information regarding two adults provided by the lawyer representing Alex’s mother. Police have already contacted one of the adults to obtain his or her testimony. (Page 3) CYPRIOT HANDOVER Giorgos Lillikas replaces veteran George Iacovou as foreign minister Giorgos Lillikas took over as Cypriot foreign minister yesterday, replacing George Iacovou following the reshuffle carried out by President Tassos Papadopoulos earlier this month. The Greek Foreign Ministry confirmed that Lillikas would conduct his first official visit to Athens on June 22. PHONE TAPPING Watchdog called to deny reports Members of the parliamentary committee investigating the recent phone-tapping scandal yesterday called for the head of the Communications Privacy Protection Authority (ADAE) Andreas Lambrinopoulos to deny press reports that the watchdog had discovered that two Greeks were at the center of the operation. An article in the Ta Nea newspaper claimed that ADAE knew the identity of the two men. The head of the MP’s committee, Anastassis Karamarios, said he spoke with Lambrinopoulos, who confirmed that ADAE had nothing to do with the article. Timetable derailed Intercity train services between Athens and Lamia were suspended for almost three hours yesterday morning after overhead electric cables fell onto the track near the Afidnes station in northern Athens. It was not immediately clear what caused the cables to fall but it is thought they may have been cut by thieves looking to steal copper tubing. The Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) said it had brought in buses to transfer passengers while the problem was being fixed. Costly holidays Consumer group ELKEKA said yesterday that summer holidays for a four-member family this year will cost 8.9 percent more than last year. ELKEKA said that a seven-day break on one of the country’s islands will set them back an average of 2,380 euros, 212 euros more than last year. Montenegro recognition Greece recognized yesterday the independence of Montenegro and said that it will support the country’s efforts to join European organizations. Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said in a letter that Greece will also aim to further boost bilateral ties between the two countries. Meningitis cases Three children aged between 3 and 4 were hospitalized in Patras after coming down with meningitis, authorities said yesterday. The two boys and a girl who attended the same preschool were not in a critical condition, according to doctors. Authorities instructed the preschool to disinfect the area carefully and recommended parents take their children to a doctor if they spot symptoms. Chinese diplomas The Greece-China Association is to start offering students of Chinese the opportunity to sit an examination in the language in Athens and secure a basic or intermediate-level diploma from Beijing University. About 250 students are currently learning Chinese at the association, vice president Amalia Matiatou told Kathimerini yesterday. However, of some 500-600 people who start studying Chinese every year in Greece, most abandon their studies due to the difficulty of the language. OA shortstaffed Olympic Airlines (OA) yesterday canceled two afternoon flights, one due to leave Athens for Ioannina and another coming from the northwestern town to the capital, citing lack of staff. OA offered to refund passengers for their tickets. Nevertheless the announcement provoked angry protests by passengers at both Athens and Ioannina airports.