NEWS

In Brief

CARTEL PUNISHMENT

Dairy firms set to be fined almost 50 million euros for fixing price of milk The Competition Commission is set to fine seven dairy companies a total of 48.4 million euros for forming a cartel to fix milk prices, sources told Kathimerini yesterday. Vivartia and Mevgal will face the biggest fines, 15.9 million euros and 13.1 million euros respectively. The other companies to be fined are FAGE, Nestle, Olympos, Kri Kri and Sergal. The watchdog believes representatives of the companies met in May 2004 to agree to fix milk prices. School vandalism Fourteen teenagers face court for ransacking of Pangrati complex Fourteen teenage students appeared in court in Athens yesterday charged with being part of the group that ransacked a school complex in Pangrati, eastern Athens, causing around 1 million euros of damage. The 14 teenagers and three other people who were not students at any of the six schools in the complex have been accused of causing damage, disturbing the peace, theft and insulting a national symbol. The final charge relates to a burned Greek flag that was found at the school. All the offenses are misdemeanors. Two of the suspects who are not students are still being sought by authorities FYROM push US envoy warns Skopje US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns yesterday appealed to the government of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to drop its intransigent stance on the Macedonian name dispute with Greece. Burns, speaking after talks with Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on the sidelines of a summit in Madrid, called on Skopje «to recognize its responsibility to meet Greece halfway and show sensitivity to Greek concerns.» Burns added that he had stressed to FYROM’s FM Antonio Milososki that his government should respect Greek sensitivities and refrain from provocative actions. Immigration focus Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos yesterday sent a draft decree – foreseeing a new autonomous department to better deal with immigrant issues – to President Karolos Papoulias for approval. The decree would transform the ministry’s unit for the social integration of immigrants into an independent department handling the influx and integration of immigrants and refugees. It would also oversee conditions at migrant reception centers. Christodoulos Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios yesterday telephoned Archbishop Christodoulos from Istanbul to express his solidarity following reports that the the latter’s health had taken a turn for the worse earlier this week. Christodoulos did not receive any visitors yesterday after doctors advised him to rest. Police trial The trial of eight policeman accused of beating a Cypriot student following a protest march in Thessaloniki on November 17, 2006 has been postponed until April. The court in the northern Greek city deferred the case because it ran out of time to hold the hearing. Avgoustinos Dimitriou, 26, who traveled from Cyprus to give evidence against his alleged assailants, expressed his frustration with the decision. Seven police officers have been charged with physically attacking Dimitriou while an eighth has been accused of inciting his colleagues. Turk ties Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan is to arrive in Athens on Monday night for talks with top government officials and businessmen, his office confirmed yesterday. Babacan is to meet his Greek counterpart, Dora Bakoyannis, on Tuesday for talks on bilateral relations and Ankara’s European Union bid. He is also due to have talks with President Karolos Papoulias, later that day, and with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Wednesday. Karamanlis is expected to visit Turkey early next year. After his meetings in Athens, Babacan is scheduled to visit the Muslim minority of Thrace. Corpse found The body of a man found in an agricultural region of Oropos, in northeastern Attica, is believed to be that of a foreigner, police said. Officers are investigating the possibility that the man was murdered as he was found with severe head injuries.