NEWS

In Brief

SKOPJE TALKS

FYROM FM says nation has right to self-determination Skopje is open to further talks with Athens aimed at solving the Macedonia name dispute «as long as Greece accepts its right to the self-determination of its people,» the Foreign Minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Antonio Milososki, told a press conference yesterday at the European Parliament’s headquarters in Strasbourg. Milososki described the invitation by United Nations mediator Matthew Nimetz for further talks on the name issue tomorrow in New York as «a positive development.» Nimetz was to meet with Greece’s negotiator Adamantios Vassilakis in New York yesterday. LANDFILL PROBLEMS Rubbish piling up after protests in Thessaloniki A fire that broke out late on Monday in a landfill near Kalamata, in the Peloponnese, was contained before it could spread and pose any danger. Meanwhile, trash is accumulating on the streets of Thessaloniki as residents continue to block garbage trucks from entering a new landfill in the Mavrorachi district. Residents object to the creation of an landfill in their area, intended to replace makeshift dumps that have been operating to date, due to pollution fears. MISSING BROTHERS Police scour northern Athens Attica Police revealed yesterday that they are investigating the disappearance of two brothers, aged 44 and 47, from Metamorphosis, northern Athens. The wives of the two men informed officers that the brothers left their homes on Monday and have not been seen since. The car in which the two men were traveling was found yesterday on Dionysou Avenue in the northern suburb of Dionysos. Trained officers were last night searching a well near the spot the car was found. Hail damage A heavy hailstone shower in Nemea, Peloponnese, caused extensive damage to farmland, totally destroying some vineyards and olive groves. State inspectors have been dispatched to assess the extent of the damage and evaluate the compensation that farmers are likely to receive. Teenage smokers Three in 10 secondary school pupils smoke in excess of 20 cigarettes a day, according to statistics made public yesterday by the Hellenic Pediatric Society. Nearly one in three (31 percent) consume alcohol regularly, the society added. Safer blood Blood being used in transfusions across the country will soon be subject to advanced molecular testing – making it safer – as the necessary equipment for the tests has been ordered, the Health Ministry said yesterday. All the country’s major hospitals will receive the necessary equipment, the ministry said. Tractor death A farmer suffered fatal injuries yesterday when the tractor he was riding overturned and fell upon him in a village near Arta, western Greece. The man was transferred to the hospital with heavy injuries but was pronounced dead upon arrival. Cyprus trip Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis will conduct a three-day visit to Cyprus, starting tomorrow. It was confirmed yesterday that she will meet with Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias as well as her counterpart Markos Kyprianou. Khat catch A Somalian man traveling from London was arrested at Athens International Airport yesterday after being caught in possession of 23.5 kilos of the drug khat, a stimulant produced from leaves grown in African countries, such as Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia, where its use is legal. Police said that he was intending to pass the drug on to two other Somalians, aged 31 and 25, who were waiting for him in the arrivals’ hall. Officers arrested the alleged accomplices as well. Civil action Immediate relatives of seven schoolchildren killed in a coach accident on the Maliakos Gulf section of the Athens-Thessaloniki national road in September 2004 are being given the right to claim jobs in the civil service, Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said yesterday. Nuts halted A shipment of 36 tons of peanuts from China was seized by authorities in Thessaloniki yesterday. Tests showed that the level of aflatoxins, a type of fungus, in the shipment was above permissible levels, according to the local prefecture.