NEWS

In Briefs

MACEDONIAN DISPUTE

UN envoy Matthew Nimetz due in Athens on December 4 for name talks The United Nations special mediator between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in a longstanding dispute regarding the latter’s official name is due in Athens on December 4 and 5 for talks, UN officials confirmed yesterday. Matthew Nimetz is scheduled to visit Skopje first, on December 3, before coming to Athens, the officials said. Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis yesterday discussed developments in the Macedonian name dispute with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. She also briefed him on a five-point plan submitted to the EU’s general affairs council proposing the acceleration of accession bids by countries of the Western Balkans, including FYROM. Assailants sought Thessaloniki police hunting for vandals who attacked municipal offices Police were yesterday searching for some 15 suspects that attacked the headquarters of the municipality in the Triandria area of Thessaloniki late on Monday night. The assailants threw rocks and other objects at the building, causing damage to the front of the structure and a parked municipal police car. They also scattered leaflets demanding the release of two suspected anarchists currently in police custody. Journalists’ strike Media disruptions next Tuesday Greece’s newspapers, television channels and radio stations are set to suffer severe disruption next Tuesday after the journalists union ESIEA decided that its members should stage a 24-hour strike from 6 a.m. The action has been called in the wake of government plans to merge the journalists’ pension fund with other funds as part of a bid to tackle Greece’s retirement problems. ESIEA said that the government has not provided any assurances about the level of pensions that journalists will receive in the future. Journalists are also set to strike on December 12 as part of a general strike against pension reforms. Mayor rapped The mayor of Kilkis, Dimitris Terzidis, was given a six-month suspended sentence yesterday for breach of duty. Terzidis was found guilty of failing to revoke the licenses of three coffee bars in the northern Greek city that racked up a total of 157 health and hygiene violations over the course of two years. The sentence has been suspended for three years. Forged currency Two brothers, aged 22 and 27, faced a prosecutor yesterday on charges of trading in counterfeit currency after searches of both their homes, in Didymoteicho and Agrinion respectively, revealed several fake 100-euro notes. Police also confiscated several plastic bags containing goods believed to have been purchased with the counterfeit notes. Rolling stone A country road between Trikala and Mesohora in central Greece was closed for several hours yesterday when a large boulder rolled onto the road after coming loose following heavy rain in the area. Authorities said it was fortunate that nobody was driving along the section of the road as they could have been killed or seriously injured. Bootleg CDs Two Nigerian men were arrested in Kypseli, near central Athens, yesterday after police raided an apartment that they said was being used to produce illegal copies of CDs and DVDs. Officers said that they seized more than 14,000 bootleg CDs from the property, as well as copies of 727 films on DVD. The illegal workshop had the capacity to produce 1,800 bootleg discs per hour, according to police. Rate changes Athens City Council decided yesterday to raise sanitation and lighting charges by 1 percent from last year but council rates will vary from area to area. Rates are set to increase in areas that have benefited from increased development in the last year. However, the council decided that large families, with four or more children, should be exempt from sanitation and lighting charges. Until now, large families had been eligible for a 50 percent discount. Road repairs Work to repair damage to the surface of Vouliagmenis Avenue, in the Glyfada-bound lane near the Aghios Nikolaos Church, is due to be completed tonight, the Public Works Ministry said. Work began last night on a 50-meter section of the road.