In Brief


Turkish military chief wants planes to be unarmed over the Aegean Turkish Chief of General Staff General Yasar Buyukanit proposed yesterday that Greek and Turkish jets should fly unarmed over the Aegean. Speaking in Thessaloniki ahead of a conference of military chiefs today, Buyukanit said that Greece and Turkey were «not enemies.» Earlier, Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos denied that Turkish fighter jets had engaged in mock dogfights with Greek air force planes over the Aegean when Russian President Vladimir Putin was in Athens last month to sign the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline deal. He said that there had been flights in the area by Turkish jets but they were of a «tactical» nature rather than any effort to confront Greek planes. MP STEPS DOWN Eleni Kourkoula resigns as country moves toward ‘election season’ PASOK MP Eleni Kourkoula said yesterday that she was quitting her seat in Parliament as she did not want to stand in the next general elections. The Athens deputy, also a well-known actor, said she had made the decision because she felt the country was already moving into a pre-election period. Her seat will be taken by Argyris Giannopoulos, son of the late Socialist minister Evangelos Giannopoulos. CANCER HOSPITAL First oncological clinic for children The construction of Greece’s first oncological hospital for children is to begin in a few days, the president of the Society of Friends of Children with Cancer, which is funding the project, said yesterday. The hospital, which will operate next to Athens’s Aghia Sofia children’s hospital, is to be inaugurated next Tuesday by President Karolos Papoulias, Marianna Vardinoyianni said. Currently, some 280 children get some form of cancer each year in Greece. Of these, seven out of 10 are successfully treated. The purpose of the oncological clinic is to ensure that «not one more child is lost,» Vardinoyianni said. Lycabettus facelift Lycabettus Hill in central Athens is to undergo a 785,000-euro facelift, it was agreed yesterday. Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis signed an agreement for the performance of a range of regeneration works. These will include improving street lighting in the area, constructing a drain system to collect rainwater, tending to trees and plants and creating pathways for those wishing to walk on the hill. Alex case The mother of two young brothers accused of killing 11-year-old Alex Meshivili in Veria, northern Greece, told a magistrate yesterday that her sons were at home at the time they are alleged to have taken part in the crime. Highway closure The Athens-Thessaloniki national road will be closed in the area of Tempe, central Greece, tomorrow between 9.30 a.m. and 1 p.m., the Public Order Ministry said yesterday. The highway is being closed so that fragments of rock can be cleared from the road surface and loose rocks can be removed from surrounding hillsides to prevent them falling on the road. Suspect recovering A 23-year-old Georgian man was recovering in hospital in Serres, northern Greece, yesterday after attempting to escape from police custody by jumping out of a second-story window, authorities said. The suspect was arrested on Saturday at the Promahonas customs station on the Greek-Bulgarian border for attempting to smuggle into the country counterfeit notes with a face value of 8,000 euros. Migrant support Migrant groups gathered in Thessaloniki yesterday to protest the government’s decision to remand in police custody 45 foreign nationals who had illegally entered Greece. Lawyers said the migrants, who have all been refused political asylum, were being unlawfully remanded. An initial decision regarding the release of the illegal immigrants, 41 of whom are Iranian nationals, was expected late yesterday. Bar damaged A bar in Iraklion, Crete, was seriously damaged yesterday after a crude explosive device detonated in front of the nightspot. There were no reports of injuries. Adjoining stores and apartments were also damaged in the blast, police added.

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