In Brief

Christodoulos illness

Archbishop takes turn for worse with pain and breathing problems Archbishop Christodoulos’s condition has taken a turn for the worse, aides revealed yesterday. The head of the Church of Greece is suffering from liver cancer but yesterday began experiencing intense pain and breathing problems. A number of clergy and politicians visited him briefly yesterday and he also had a short meeting with Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos. Sources said that the archbishop is spending most of his day in his bedroom and is having difficulty moving around his home. Doctors last month aborted an attempt to transplant his liver in the USA. Urban guerrilla? Postgrad student in Thessaloniki charged with terrorist activities A postgraduate student at Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University has been arrested and faces nine charges including being involved in terrorist activity, causing explosions, arson, possession and manufacture of explosive devices, police revealed yesterday. The 24-year-old was arrested on Tuesday after an arson attack on a car dealership in the city, which led to seven vehicles being damaged. The suspect, who is the son of a former police officer, is due to appear before a prosecutor today. Hijackers’ appeal Rebuff for Albanians who seized bus An appeals court in Athens yesterday upheld 25-year jail sentences for two Albanian men who hijacked a KTEL intercity bus in December 2004 and held 23 people hostage for some 18 hours in Pallini, northeast of Athens. The two men admitted hijacking the bus to demand a ransom and said they regretted their action, which they described as «madness.» However, the court upheld the original decision. Nobody was injured during the hijack. Samos center A new reception center for migrants is due to open on the eastern Aegean island of Samos on Saturday, the government said yesterday. The facilities for hosting migrants, often picked up by authorities on or near the island, have been severely overstretched during the last few years and more than 2.5 million euros has been spent to build the new center, which can house up to 280 people. It will also have a medical unit, canteen and sports field. The construction of the building began in March 2004. Meanwhile, a 19-year-old Turkish man was sentenced to eight years and three months in jail by a court on Kos after being caught transporting 15 illegal immigrants. Planes safe Olympic Airlines said yesterday that it has repaired a technical problem responsible for the grounding of a plane it has leased from Spanish company Hola Airlines earlier this month in line with international aviation guidelines. Repairs have been completed according to procedures outlined by Boeing, Olympic Airlines said. In a bid to allay passenger safety concerns, Olympic added that the repair work has also been checked and certified by the US and French civil aviation authorities. OA has leased a total of four planes from Hola. Zacharo protection European Commissioner Stavros Dimas yesterday indirectly warned developers eyeing the burnt coastland of Zacharo, the area of the Peloponnese worst affected by disastrous fires in August, stressing that EU-protected areas should remain free of concrete. «Restoring the destroyed Natura areas, without changes to land use… is a key criterion for EU approval of subsidies,» Dimas said. The commissioner was responding to a question submitted by Euro MP Dimitris Papadimoulis regarding plans for the development of the land, signed by Zacharo’s mayor and officials of the public real estate company. Dimas said he had not heard about the plan. Koroneia pollution The Environment and Public Works Ministry yesterday imposed fines totaling 715,000 euros on 20 manufacturers found to have been illegally dumping toxic waste in and around Lake Koroneia, in northern Greece, which is already heavily polluted. The largest fine, 160,000 euros, was imposed on dyeworks Maxim-K. Pertsinidis. One of the best-known firms penalized was dairy producer Agno, which was fined 79,500 euros. The fines were imposed following a series of inspections by state officials. A prosecutor is to examine the files of all alleged offenders to consider further action.