Pope meets Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios in Istanbul Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios yesterday met with Pope Benedict XVI in Istanbul’s Phanar district where the Orthodox Patriarchate is located. The pope attended a thanksgiving service at Saint George Church in the Phanar. Earlier the pontiff met with other religious leaders, including the leaders of the Turkish Catholic and Armenian communities. (Editorial, Page 2) TEGOPOULOS DIES Eleftherotypia newspaper founder and publisher dies at the age of 86 The founder-publisher of the daily newspaper Eleftherotypia, Christos Tegopoulos died at his Athens home yesterday at the age of 86, the newspaper said. The cause of death was not made known. Tegopoulos, also known by the nickname Kitsos, founded the newspaper in 1975, a year after the fall of the military junta. He had earlier spent time in exile in France and the USA. His publishing company also owns a 12 percent stake in Mega TV. Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos called the late publisher «a man of vision.» OTE SACKING Firing of cancer sufferer investigated Labor Minister Savvas Tsitouridis said yesterday he will look into a decision by OTE telecom to allegedly fire a 27-year-old female employee after she was diagnosed with cancer. The woman claims to have been dismissed due to an OTE policy that stops managers from hiring people with health problems. Meanwhile, OTE said that the decision to fire the woman was made by its social security fund (TAP-OTE) which operates independently of the company. OTE said in a statement that it is willing to give the 27-year-old a permanent job and provide her with health insurance. Afghanistan troops Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis indicated yesterday that Greece would not be committing any more troops to NATO operations in Afghanistan. «Having fulfilled our military obligations, Greece is prepared to actively contribute to the social and economic reconstruction of Afghanistan,» said Karamanlis during a NATO summit in Riga, Latvia. Greece’s contingent to the international peacekeeping effort in Afghanistan currently runs a field hospital near Kabul airport as well as a construction unit. Student checks out The Cypriot student who was allegedly beaten by undercover police officers in Thessaloniki on November 17 was released from the hospital yesterday as police launched an internal investigation into footage which appeared to show riot police beating a demonstrator on Tuesday night during a protest against police violence in the northern city. Strikes loom Trolley bus drivers and Workers at OTE telecom, the Athens Water Company (EYDAP) and several other public utilities have decided to join the 24-hour strike which has been called for December 13 by Greece’s two largest unions, ADEDY and GSEE. Staff working on other modes of public transport are expected to decide next week whether they will take part in the industrial action. Meanwhile, managers at the IKA social security fund are staging a 24-hour strike today and will be holding a 48-hour strike from next Wednesday. Police explosion A hand grenade exploded yesterday outside a police station in Komotini, northwestern Greece, damaging two patrol cars but no one was hurt. Police said the explosion took place in the police station’s parking area at about 2.40 a.m. Bubble bursts A 43-year-old man was arrested in Thessaloniki yesterday for selling knockoff cosmetic products, police said. The items, which included shampoo and bubble bath, carried the labels of a well-known French cosmetic company, according to officers who raided the company owned by the unnamed suspect. Police said they were tipped off by the official representative of the French firm in Thessaloniki. Railway service The management of the Proastiakos suburban railway said yesterday that work stoppages by train drivers had less of an impact than expected. The drivers are due to continue their action until the end of the week but management said that only four of 97 routes that were canceled yesterday affected trains going to Athens International Airport.