NEWS

In Brief

Turkey push

Rice calls on Ankara to recognize Vartholomaios, work harder on Cyprus US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday called on Ankara to recognize Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios and make efforts to reach a solution to the Cyprus problem to boost its bid to join the European Union. Addressing the annual Turkish-American conference in Washington, Rice encouraged the Turks to «recognize and protect the citizens’ rights of all religious and ethnic groups.» She also described the Cyprus problem as the «key» to Turkey’s accession to the EU. (Page 2) IAKOVOU RESIGNS Weightlifting coach steps down as athletes get more time for defense The Greek Weightlifting Federation (EOAB) has accepted the resignation of coach Christos Iakovou after he submitted it for a second time yesterday. Iakovou was suspended after the news of 11 weightlifters failing doping tests broke earlier this month but his initial offer to resign was not accepted. Prosecutor Andreas Karaflos yesterday gave the athletes until May 2 to prepare their defenses. They had been due to give their depositions yesterday. TRANSPORT STOPPAGES Metro, railway and buses affected A series of work stoppages by public transport employees is due to upset the network today. The metro is due to stop running between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Trains will cease stopping at some stations around half an hour earlier and will not pass through again until around 3.30 p.m. The Kifissia-Piraeus electric railway (ISAP) will not be running from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will stop again at 9 p.m. for the rest of the day. Buses will not be available before 7 a.m. or after 10 p.m. The tram will not run between 8 a.m. and noon. Trolley buses and the Proastiakos suburban railway will run as normal. The workers are striking in protest at the sacking of two tram employees. AIDS cases A casual approach to AIDS means that there has not been a significant drop in the number of people in Greece who are being infected, doctors said yesterday. «The messages we are getting from the big disease treatment units around the country are disappointing because it seems that the number of new AIDS cases being reported is growing,» said the head of the Greek Society for the Study and Prevention of AIDS, Panayiotis Gargalianos. There was a rise of 25 percent in 2005, which was repeated in 2006. Figures for 2007 show that the number of people infected remained roughly the same. Hospital staff Hospitals and ambulances will be operating with emergency staff today between 11.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. due to a work stoppage in protest at pension reforms and to call for their jobs to be classified as hazardous and unhealthy. A protest outside the Health Ministry is due to take place at noon. Cars torched Six cars were destroyed at a Ford dealership in Palaio Faliron, southern Athens, early yesterday after arsonists threw a flammable liquid over the vehicles and then set fire to them. Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack and no injuries were reported. Illegal adoption Police have arrested four Bulgarian nationals, two men and two women, in Athens in connection with an illegal adoption. Authorities said a 33-year-old woman, the mother of two children, is believed to have sold her third newborn baby for 6,000 euros to buy a house in Bulgaria. Police were tipped off and arrested the mother along with three other suspects who set up the illegal adoption. The three suspects are believed to have earned 500 euros each from the deal. Wanted mobsters Police said yesterday they have arrested two men in Athens who were both armed and are considered to be dangerous. The first suspect, aged 43, was arrested in Peristeri, western Athens, and is wanted in connection with a series of holdups, including banks, post offices and supermarkets. A second man, connected to nightclub protection rackets, was arrested in Glyfada. Cup final Olympiakos eliminated second-division side Thrasyvoulos from the Greek Cup last night and will play Aris, who saw off Atromitos, in the final next month. (Page 8)