NEWS

In Brief

STOPPED IN TRACKS

Metro and railway workers threaten plan for longer hours on weekend Plans for the metro and Athens-Piraeus Electric Railway (ISAP) to run for longer starting this weekend were thrown into confusion yesterday after workers said they will go on a two-hour work stoppage tonight at exactly the time the service is meant to be extended. The Transport Ministry has said the metro and the Kifissia-Piraeus electric railway will run for an extra two hours until 2 a.m. to serve nighttime commuters during a two-month pilot scheme. Metro workers, however, have opposed the move and said they will walk off the job because they believe that more research should be carried out before the measure is introduced. BUILDING PERMIT Town planners reject minister’s designs for Attica summerhouse The town-planning office in Markopoulo, northeast of Athens, has rejected revised plans for the construction of a summerhouse belonging to Environment and Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias. The government official has run into problems over the property in Anavyssos, southeast of Athens, because he only had a permit to build two small homes, but instead they have been combined into one large one. When the story first emerged last October, Souflias insisted that he was not aware of the problem and blamed the civil engineer in charge of the project and delays at the town-planning office. Sources close to the minister said yesterday that all the necessary paperwork has been submitted. CYPRUS STAND Nicosia against Kosovo going solo Nicosia will not recognize a unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo, Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Markoullis said yesterday. «This is an issue of principle, of respect for international law, but also an issue of concern that it will create a precedent in international relations,» she said. She stressed the possible implications of such a move for Cyprus was not the main issue. «It has nothing to do with occupied Cyprus. It’s not because we’re afraid they would declare independence – they already did that in 1983 and got a very strong reaction from the (UN) Security Council,» she said. Missing man Rescue workers yesterday continued a land-and-sea search for a 68-year-old man whose car was discovered abandoned on the coastal road from Athens to Sounion on Wednesday. The man’s mobile telephone was in the car, which had been parked some 200 meters from the sea. The police sent out a helicopter yesterday afternoon to scan the area being searched by patrol cars and vessels. There was no sign of the 68-year-old by late yesterday. Fibber caught A 62-year-old man from Thessaloniki is to be charged with giving false evidence after claiming on Tuesday that 110,000 euros’ worth of equipment had been stolen from his taverna only for officers to find most of it in his warehouse. The suspect was arrested yesterday and is due to face a prosecutor. The 62-year-old’s business has been shut since June when local authorities deemed that he did not have the necessary permit. Heroin hauls Police in Athens were yesterday questioning a 40-year-old Greek woman after a raid on her home in the central district of Gyzi unearthed 700 grams of heroin and dozens of hallucinogenic pills. Officers also confiscated a book containing orders for drug purchases and dates of alleged purchases. The woman is believed to belong to a broader ring of dealers. Meanwhile, police in Larissa arrested two foreigners, aged 36 and 27, who had allegedly been trying to sell just over 100 grams of heroin. Officers confiscated 1,630 euros, believed to be proceeds of drug deals, and three mobile phones. Navy death A navy lieutenant was found dead yesterday at the Navy Hospital in Athens, authorities said. The unnamed junior officer had been admitted to the hospital’s psychiatric clinic on Saturday. His body was found next to the building but it was not immediately clear how he died.