NEWS

In Brief

Greek-Turk ties

Bakoyannis sends condolences over Turkish plane crash to Babacan Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis yesterday sent a message to her Turkish counterpart Ali Babacan, expressing condolences following the death of 57 people in an airplane crash in the region of Isparta, Anatolia. Babacan is due in Athens on Tuesday for talks with top government officials, including Bakoyannis and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. (Page 2) Crete probe Police widen bank account checks, more Cretans to face justice Police on Crete said they have broadened their investigation into the financial transactions of inhabitants allegedly linked to the local drug and gun trade. Officers are examining 31 bank accounts and will inspect offshore firms in Cyprus. Greek Police Chief Anastassios Dimoschakis, on Crete to support the probe, yesterday visited the 28-year-old officer seriously injured outside Zoniana in early November. Efstathios Lazaridis is in a stable but critical condition. Six Cretans yesterday faced charges for gun possession. Another three charged with extortion face a magistrate on Monday. Couple stabbed Man, wife attacked in Kifissia home A man and woman were injured after being stabbed by four men that had broken into their Kifissia home, in northern Athens, police said yesterday. The assailants attacked the couple, who had been sleeping but woke up and discovered the thieves early in the morning. The four men managed to escape after the incident. Doctors said the couple’s injuries were not serious. Transferring detainees The European Parliament yesterday approved a proposal by the leader of New Democracy’s Euro MPs, Ioannis Varvitsiotis, to allow the transfer to their country of origin of citizens who have been remanded in custody in a European Union state. The adoption of Varvitsiotis’s report amounts to an approval of a proposal by the European Commission. The decision means that those remanded in custody or facing other pre-trial restrictions can be sent to the country of their origin – or where they reside most of the time – on the basis of a new European surveillance warrant. Museum inauguration Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis yesterday inaugurated a museum on the island of Aghios Efstratios, near Lemnos in the northern Aegean Sea, dedicated to leading historical figures that contributed to democracy. The island of Aghios Efstratios had been used in the past as a place of exile for political dissenters. «We are leaving behind the dividing lines that have hurt this country,» Karamanlis said during the ceremony. House fire An 108-year-old woman was burnt to death when her wood-fired heater set fire to her house in Kalambaka, central Greece, while she was sleeping, authorities said yesterday. Police and fire fighters have launched an investigation into the incident. Bali declaration Kathimerini and Skai TV and Radio are among 150 international firms that have signed a declaration to fight climate change ahead of the United Nations environmental conference in Bali next week. The signatures were collected by a British foundation overseen by Charles, Prince of Wales. Fatal birth A gynecologist in Thessaloniki was given a suspended jail sentence yesterday after being found guilty of the manslaughter of a 33-year-old mother through negligence. The woman died shortly after giving birth in June 2001 as a result of heavy hemorrhaging. The doctor, who was not named, insisted that he did everything he could to save the woman’s life but the court handed him a two-year jail term that has been suspended for three years. Ambelokipi playground A new playground will be opened in the central Athens neighborhood of Ambelokipi on Sunday, the City of Athens said yesterday. The park is located on the corner of Trifyllias and Lampsa streets, in the Girokomio area. The site was recently transformed into a park by the municipality.