NEWS

In Brief

MINORITY RIGHTS

Athens accuses Ankara of stoking argument over Muslims in Thrace Greece yesterday rejected accusations from Ankara that it was limiting the rights of the Muslims in Thrace, claiming instead that its treatment of the minority was «exemplary.» «The policy that Greece follows in these matters is exemplary and will hopefully serve as an example for other countries in the region,» said Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos. He also reminded Ankara that the minority in Thrace is classified as Muslim and not Turkish. He accused the Turkish government of focusing on the issue to divert attention from its failure to conduct the internal reforms that the European Union has demanded. MEVGAL BLACKMAIL Dairy firm boss insists three suspects tried to extract bribe from company The president of the Mevgal dairy firm, Petros Papadakis, told a magistrate yesterday that his company had been the victim of a well-organized blackmail plot, sources said. Three men are currently in custody accused of trying to force Mevgal to pay them a 2.5-million-euro bribe so the company would not face a Competition Commission fine. Papadakis insisted that the watchdog’s former director Panayiotis Adamopoulos was one of the men involved in the alleged plot. Papadakis said that Adamopoulos and his alleged accomplices had set up a joint account into which the blackmail money was to be paid. HOSPITAL PROBE Tooth found in patient’s food The head of the Athens General Hospital (Geniko Kratiko), Antonis Avgerinos, ordered an investigation yesterday into the allegation that a patient found a tooth in his plate of food. The alleged incident took place on Wednesday. Avgerinos said that he believes the tooth had been placed on the plate on purpose and that charges will be filed against the culprit once he or she is found. Education tenders The general secretary of the Education Ministry, Andreas Karamanos, yesterday submitted details of 40 tenders for projects worth 60 million euros to Supreme Court prosecutor Giorgos Sanidas following some media allegations that the process was not followed properly. Education Minister Marietta Giannakou ordered the move, sources said, in a bid to prove that the process of awarding the tenders had been completely transparent. The tenders were awarded to companies which supplied senior high schools with goods and services. Schoolgirl rape? Three youths have been arrested in Hania, Crete, on suspicion of raping a teenage schoolgirl on a remote beach, police said yesterday. The unnamed suspects allegedly took the girl to the beach after a night out on September 28. Officers said the three youths were Greek but did not give any more details. The age of the schoolgirl was not made public. Courtrooms shut Courtrooms will be closed from Wednesday through to October 20 due to the municipal elections, the Justice Ministry said yesterday. Courtroom facilities are used for election procedures and the counting of votes. The municipal elections will be held on October 15. Olives OK Thessaloniki prefecture officials gave the all clear yesterday regarding cancer-causing dioxin levels in olives from the Tagarades area of the city. Tests were carried out on the olives after a fire broke out at the local landfill in July, prompting fears that nearby produce would be affected by increased dioxin emissions. Initial high traces of dioxins in the olives have fallen due to the ripening of olives the last few months, said experts. Market dealers Police said yesterday they had arrested four men for allegedly using a mini-market in Ambelokipi, central Athens, as a base from which to deal drugs. The suspects, a 40-year-old Greek and two Albanian men and one Albanian woman, aged 25, 26 and 38, also allegedly stored drugs in a nearby apartment. Officers found 44 kilos of cannabis and two precision scales on the property.