NEWS

In Brief

CYPRUS ISSUE

Dora Bakoyannis warns Finns of ‘dead end’ over reunification talks Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis yesterday warned Finland, which currently holds the EU presidency, that its plan to start Cyprus reunification talks would fail if the key Greek-Cypriot demand that the abandoned town of Varosha be returned to its control is omitted. «The issue of Varosha has been an integral part of the package of ideas,» said Bakoyannis. «It would mean a breakdown, which would certainly lead the presidency’s effort to great difficulties, if not a dead end.» Finland has not commented on the details of the plan. ENERGETIC TALK Deputy minister says investment in energy sector poised to take off Deregulation of the energy sector is expected to draw investments of 4.5 billion euros and help to create more than 40,000 jobs, Deputy Development Minister Anastassios Nerantzis told Kathimerini English Edition in an interview. Greece is proceeding with delayed steps to open up the power industry, trailing well behind many of its European Union peers. Nerantzis also said that the country is moving ahead with the construction of new power plants and hooking up with neighboring markets to help avoid future blackouts. ASLAM RELEASED Pakistani community leader bailed The head of the Pakistani Unity Organization in Athens, Javed Aslam, was released on bail yesterday following his arrest last week in connection with the alleged trafficking of illegal immigrants. An appeals court ordered him to pay 30,000 euros and banned him from leaving Greece. Aslam also has to report to his local police station every two days. He denies the charges and claims he is being targeted for speaking out last year against the alleged abduction of his countrymen in Greece. OTE slip OTE telecom said yesterday that due to a technical problem, some subscribers were charged an extra 6.34 euros in their last bill. OTE added that this amount will be deducted from their next payment if it has already been paid. Cyprus arrest A Greek-Cypriot student was arrested in Nicosia yesterday for allegedly being part of a gang that attacked Turkish-Cypriot schoolchildren at the city’s English School on Wednesday. Authorities said that they are looking for another 15 youths who allegedly entered the school grounds and assaulted younger children. One Turkish-Cypriot schoolchild suffered slight injuries in the incident. Children from both of the island’s communities attend the English School. Hospital strike State hospitals across the country are to operate on emergency staff next Wednesday as doctors and staff stage a 24-hour strike. Workers are reacting to the introduction of an EU directive dictating that doctors work no more than 58 hours a week. They are insisting that their wages remain unchanged and are calling for the recruitment of more staff to ensure that the directive is enforceable. A 48-hour hospital strike is planned for December 5 and 6. Vyronas violence Rival groups of soccer fans are believed to have been responsible for clashes in the eastern suburb of Vyronas early yesterday that led to about 25 cars being damaged, police said. It is believed that fans of the local team in nearby Kaisariani went to Vyronas armed with rocks and other weapons looking for revenge following a clash between the two sets of supporters at a soccer match on Sunday. No injuries or arrests were reported. Phone antennas The Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission (EETT) will launch a campaign to inform people of the dangers of mobile-phone antennas, often placed on top of buildings. Additionally, the telecom regulator said a mobile team will start measuring the electromagnetic fields generated by the antennas. Abusive babysitter? A 37-year-old Chinese woman who had been hired as a babysitter was arrested yesterday on suspicion of abusing the 3-year-old boy she cared for, police in Athens said. The woman was reported to police by the Chinese family that had employed her.