NEWS

In Brief

FYROM MOVEMENT

UN mediator set for a new round of talks this week The United Nations mediator in the Macedonia name dispute, Matthew Nimetz, is preparing for a new round of talks with government officials on Thursday in Athens and on Friday in Skopje. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is expected to raise the issue with Greece’s Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis today on the sidelines of a summit in Berlin. In a related development yesterday, the prime minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Nikola Gruevski, said he would not shift on the name dispute. SIEMENS PROBE Tsoukatos testimony due today An aide to former Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Theodoros Tsoukatos, is expected to submit a written statement today to prosecutor Panayiotis Athanassiou who is investigating the Simens bribery scandal. Tsoukatos has admitted to accepting money in 1999 from the Greek branch of the German company but said that the cash went into PASOK’s election campaign fund. Tsoukatos is expected to deny any wrongdoing but Athanassiou is likely to also question the role of the two businessmen alleged to have helped Tsoukatos set up a foreign bank account into which the money was paid. Exam results The results of university entrance examinations sat by some 90,000 high school students are to start going up on notice boards at schools across the country today. The students are fighting it out for one of the 70,781 available places at universities and technical colleges. Double electrocution A 68-year-old man and his 34-year-old son were both fatally electrocuted in a freak accident yesterday as they tried to tie up a pile of hay with a length of cable. Both men were holding the cable when it came into contact with a high-voltage power line, according to local police, who said the pair died instantly. New bishops The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church convenes today to elect new bishops to the sees of Lefkada, Thebes, Livadeia and Paronaxia (covering the islands of Paros, Naxos and Antiparos). Quake talk Seismologists were yesterday being reassuring about the earthquakes that have rattled the Peloponnese over the past two weeks, noting that they were aftershocks from a 6.5-magnitude quake earlier this month and another quake that struck the region in February. A series of weaker tremors, measuring up to 5.9 Richter, which rattled the same region over the weekend were no cause for concern as their epicenter was located under the seabed, experts said. Suspected patricide Police in Xanthi, northeastern Greece, said yesterday that they had arrested a 30-year-old man on suspicion of murdering his father. The suspect, who was not named, allegedly stabbed his 55-year-old father in the stomach, causing a fatal injury. The apparent motives for the incident were not immediately clear. Officers said they have recovered the knife that was allegedly used in the stabbing.