NEWS

In Brief

Support for Serbs

Greek FM: Linking Belgrade’s EU bid to Kosovo status ‘an error’ Linking Serbia’s bid to join the European Union to the status of the breakaway province of Kosovo would be «an error,» Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said on Saturday. «In these critical moments, such efforts… are counterproductive,» Bakoyannis said. She stressed the significance of Serbia for regional stability and said its progress toward EU accession would contribute to this. JERUSALEM PATRIARCH Israel finally recognizes Theophilos III The Israeli government informed Greece yesterday that it has officially recognized Patriarch Theophilos as the head of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The decision was reached at a ministerial council. Church law demands that the patriarch be recognized by Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israel was the last of the three to recognize Theophilos, who was elected to his post in August 2005. Hotels raided Two armed men held up four hotels in the southern suburbs of Athens early yesterday and made away with an unknown amount of money, according to police. The first holdup took place in Neos Cosmos at just after 6 a.m. when the assailants locked the two hotel employees in a room and made away with the hotel’s 15-kilo safe. Three more hotels were robbed in Faliron and Kallithea with the help of a third man who is believed to have been the driver in the heists. There were no reports of injuries. Missing man Rescue workers were yesterday continuing their search for a 23-year-old mentally disabled man, missing since Friday afternoon when he went for a walk in his village near Xanthi in northern Greece. The man was last seen in the area of Simantra at around 6 p.m. on Friday. A group of nine firemen and first-aid workers, along with sniffer dogs, were involved in the rescue effort which continued late into the night yesterday. Cyprus polls Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos yesterday retained a slim lead in opinion polls over Communist AKEL rival Dimitris Christofias ahead of February’s presidential elections. Papadopoulos slipped 0.3 points to 29.8 percent, just ahead of Christofias, who climbed 1.1 points to 29.5 percent. Independent candidate Ioannis Kasoulides in third place with 27.3 percent, the Politis daily newspaper said. Corpse probe Police were yesterday investigating the circumstances of the death of a 27-year-old Albanian national, whose body was found in his home in the region of Pendeli, northeast of Athens. The man died of serious head injuries believed to have been inflicted by an assailant who caught him unawares.