NEWS

In Brief

FYROM STANCE

PM tells Merkel Greece will block EU, NATO bids if name solution not found Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis yesterday impressed upon German Chancellor Angela Merkel Greece’s determination to push for a solution to its dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) regarding the latter’s name before Skopje proceeds with its possible accession to NATO. «It is inconceivable for FYROM to join NATO or the EU without a mutually acceptable solution to the name dispute,» Karamanlis is reported to have told Merkel on the sidelines of a European Council summit in Lisbon. According to sources, Greece’s PM hinted that Athens would exercise its veto if necessary. Karamanlis was due to meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy later yesterday. SEAMAN FOUND Search locates body of drowned Cypriot captain of Diamond 1 Rescuers located yesterday the body of a 50-year-old Cypriot captain who drowned after his vessel, the Diamond 1, sunk close to the Thessaloniki port on Wednesday. Divers found the body near the engine room of the ship that had crashed into a 187-meter vessel as it was making a sudden turn. The other seven crew members were safely rescued. ON OUR BIKE ISAP free for cyclists tomorrow Bicycle riders will be allowed to board trains with their bikes for free on the Kifissia-Piraeus electric railway (ISAP) tomorrow so they can take part in the 17th Athens Cycle Tour, which begins at Kotzia Square at 10 a.m. and is being organized by the City of Athens. The operator of the Athens metro also said yesterday that bicycle stands will be installed outside every metro station, space permitting. Meanwhile, dozens of cyclists are expected to take part in a protest ride through the city center today. They will start from Alexandras Avenue at noon, head down Vassilissis Sofias Avenue and on to Athens University to demand the construction of more cycle lanes in the city. Cyprus overture Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos yesterday submitted a proposal to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with the aim of reviving stalled peace talks. The proposal foresees a meeting between Papadopoulos and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat within the next two weeks followed by talks between «working groups» from both sides of the island. The aim of the talks is to draft a pact based on the agreement reached by community leaders in July 2006, which Turkish Cypriots now dispute. The proposal was dismissed as «verbiage» by Talat who also submitted a proposal to Ban foreseeing the creation of confidence-building measures. Victim critical A 31-year-old man is being treated in critical condition in hospital in Thessaloniki after being shot in the head during an argument, police said yesterday. Officers have arrested a 58-year-old man on suspicion of attempted murder. He has not been named. The two men, both Albanian nationals, had an argument about money at a cafeteria in the Ambelokipi district of the city before the shooting. Industrial action Local authority workers will go on strike between Friday, November 2 and Tuesday, November 6, the Panhellenic Federation of Local Government Workers Associations (POE-OTA) said yesterday. Local government employees will be protesting about the failure to approve collective contracts, low pay and the classification of certain jobs as «hazardous and unhealthy.» Pole position A power pole collapsed in Kallithea, southern Athens, yesterday injuring two passers-by after a worker had climbed up it for maintenance work. The worker managed to jump to safety as the pole came crashing down but the two passers-by, a 70-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man, suffered minor injuries. Police have launched an investigation into the incident. Weather warning The Secretariat for Civil Protection issued a warning yesterday about severe weather conditions expected to hit the country today through Monday. Heavy rainfall and storms are expected to strike parts of northern and western Greece along with the eastern Aegean islands.