NEWS

In Brief

AIR-SPACE VIOLATIONS

Ministry says Greek jets intercepted eight Turkish planes over Rhodes Eight Turkish military jets violated Greek airspace by flying over Rhodes yesterday as Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis continues to consider a trip to the neighboring country. The Defense Ministry said the Turkish F-16 jets were intercepted by Greek fighter planes between 3.26 p.m. and 3.34 p.m., resulting in two mock dogfights. Karamanlis had agreed to visit Turkey last month after the two countries opened a joint energy project. SUSPECT RECAPTURED Police find man that escaped custody while awaiting trial An Iraqi suspect who escaped from police custody while awaiting trial on charges of theft last week was arrested in central Athens, authorities said yesterday. The suspect, aged 40, had told guards that he felt unwell and escaped once they allowed him to take off his handcuffs. The two guards from whom the suspect escaped were the ones who recaptured him, authorities added. ARCHIBISHOP MESSAGE Call to reflect on passing of time The passing of time and the inevitability of death were the main themes in Archbishop Christodoulos’s New Year message yesterday. The head of the Church of Greece is suffering from liver and stomach cancer and, in a more reflective message than usual, Christodoulos said that people have to come to terms with their mortality. He also encouraged «people who remain true to our traditions, values, history and struggles» to resist the attempts of «revisionists» to «demolish the towers of sacrifice in the hearts of Greeks.» Quarry fire A fire broke out at a quarry operating in Markopoulos, eastern Attica, authorities said yesterday. The fire broke out at a depth of some 80 meters in an area being used by the quarry and the local municipality as a landfill. The smoke which covered the quarry is considered to be a threat to the local environment. Plane traffic More than 3,000 flights are expected to land and take off at Athens International Airport (AIA) over the next few days as holiday air traffic reaches its peak, officials said yesterday. It is estimated that a total of 3,262 flights will have passed through the airport between yesterday and January 3. Yesterday was set to be the busiest day of the period, with 554 flights in and out of AIA. Olympic Airlines said that its international flights are operating at 85 percent of capacity and its domestic routes are 70 percent full. Aegean Airlines said its planes are 73 percent full. Shopping hours Retail stores will be open today until 6 p.m. and will also be open for business on Monday before remaining closed for two days. Stores will open their doors again to shoppers on Thursday. Train cancellations A number of Proastiakos suburban railway services on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day have been canceled, the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) said yesterday. They include four late-night trains to and from Athens International Airport. For more details, passengers are advised to call OSE’s helpline on 1110. Dud explosive Police found parts of an explosive device in an OTE telecom control box on a street in Hellenikon, southern Athens, but said that it was inactive. The device had been made from part an old hand grenade but did not include a detonator. «Someone wanted to throw it away as it was no longer active and decided to put it there,» said a police official. Spoons seized Athens prefecture officials yesterday seized a number of spoons used to feed infants. The spoons, found at a toy store in Aghia Paraskevi, northern Athens, were believed to contain dangerous substances. Officials also said they had notified the Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) about the spoons that had been imported from China.