NEWS

In Brief

MISSILE DEAL

Swiss authorities to give details of accounts linked to TOR purchase Swiss authorities have agreed to provide details to Greek prosecutors about bank accounts which may have been linked to the purchase of Russian missiles by the Greek government, sources told Kathimerini yesterday. Greece bought 21 TOR-M1 systems between 1998 and 2000 for some $473 million, but missed out on some $63 million in offsets. Former defense ministers Akis Tsochadzopoulos and Yiannos Papantoniou have denied any wrongdoing but prosecutors are investigating the possibility that some 25 million euros in offsets ended up in Switzerland. Once the details of the bank accounts are made known to Greek authorities, a parliamentary committee may investigate the matter. TICKET REFUNDS Organizers of canceled concerts must repay customers, gov’t says The organizers of music concerts and cultural events which are canceled must return the full cost of tickets to customers, Deputy Development Minister Yiannis Papathanssiou said yesterday. Several pop music concerts have been canceled this summer after artists pulled out of the events. Thanassis Skordas, the Development Ministry’s secretary for consumer affairs, warned consumers to check the terms and conditions printed on the back of concert tickets. He said that any complaints or queries should be addressed to the consumer hotline on 1520 or the Consumer’s General Secretariat at Kaningos Square in central Athens. ISLAND DISRUPTION Strikes likely on Kythnos, Kimolos Local authorities and businesspeople on the islands of Kythnos and Kimolos in the western Cyclades threatened yesterday to close down public offices, stores and hotels over the tourist period to protest the government’s failure to improve the island’s connections to Piraeus. Local authorities responsible for the islands of the western Cyclades have appealed to the European Commission to back their efforts. Yesterday, passenger ships scheduled to depart for Serifos, Sifnos and Milos remained docked in Piraeus because of engine failure. Land register Parliament’s plenary session yesterday approved legislation for the creation of a national land register. The new law aims to be «better, faster, cheaper and without the delays of the past,» Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias said after the vote. Teenager injured A 17-year-old woman was seriously injured yesterday at a go-cart track in Halkidiki, northern Greece, when her hair became tangled up in the vehicle’s engine belt. Police said the girl was taken to a nearby medical clinic with head injuries and then to AHEPA hospital in Thessaloniki. Nursing staff Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said yesterday that 1,700 nursing staff will be hired over the next two months. After meeting with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, Avramopoulos said the staff will be employed through speedier procedures adopted by the Supreme Council for Personnel Selection (ASEP). Mumbai condolences Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis sent a letter of condolence to his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh after seven bombs exploded on commuter trains in the country’s financial center of Mumbai on Tuesday, killing some 200 people. In the letter, Karamanlis said that Greece, having been a victim of terrorism itself, condemned the killing of innocent people. Border trap One Albanian man who was part of a group of seven drug smugglers was arrested on the border with Greece after the gang tried to bring some 92 kilograms of hashish into the country, border guards said yesterday. The other six men managed to escape back into Albania after being confronted by the officers on Mount Grammos in northern Greece.